Shurugwi Eyes Municipality
Shurugwi eyes municipal status by 2017
SHURUGWI town in the Midlands province is eyeing to attain municipal status by the year 2017, an official has said.
The mineral rich town was established in 1899 by the British South Africa Company.
Shurugwi town secretary Mr Solomon Siziba on Thursday told Sunday News that the local authority had come up with a strategic plan which will see the town meeting requirements of a municipal authority in the next three years.
Mr Siziba said once the town satisfied the requirements of a municipality, they would make a formal application to Government for municipal status.
“We have come up with a strategic plan which sets attainment of municipality status as one of our targets in the next three years. The strategic plan includes some of the things we have to do in order to meet some of the requirements.
“Already, we satisfy most of the requirements. We have to start attracting huge investments from banks and other big companies so that we can start bidding for the status.
“So we are left with just a few requirements which we hope to satisfy before we make a formal bid for a municipal status. Our target is to be a municipal authority by 2017,” he said.
Mr Siziba said attaining municipality status would widen the town’s focus and help lure bigger investors into the town.
Although Mr Siziba acknowledged that Shurugwi was still far off from attaining city status, he expressed confidence that the town was on the right track, spurred by mining activities in and around the town.
“The main reason we would want a municipality is to enable the town to attract bigger investors. Investors are always prepared to put their money where they know they will realise profits. Although we are still far off from being a city we remain focused and hopeful that one of these days we will get there,” he said.
Mr Siziba said Shurugwi was on the verge of becoming one of the fastest growing towns in the country citing Unki Mines’ housing project at Impali Source farm as one the big developments likely to spur Shurugwi’s growth.
Unki Mines is constructing 945 housing units for its employees at Impali Source farm at a cost of $80 million.
The mine has already set up infrastructure worth $35 million at the housing site. Mr Siziba predicted that Unki Mine’s housing project would see Shurugwi town expanding by about 50 percent.
“I am quite optimistic that the coming in of Unki will help us restore our old self. If you look at it Unki has built almost 1 000 houses at Impali and that is almost half of the housing units that council already has. So I can safely predict that infrastructural development in Shurugwi will increase by about 50% in the next five years.
There are other mines such as Todal who are yet to start production. We are positive that once Todal starts production we will enjoy the downstream benefits as a local authority,” he said.
Shurugwi Town Council recently entered into a Private-Public partnership with a local construction firm Inducto-Serve, which will see the construction of a $2,5 million three-storey shopping mall in the town.
A number of established enterprises have set their sights on Shurugwi aiming to tap into the mineral wealth.
Some of the mines operating in Shurugwi are giant platinum mining concern Unki Mines, Todal Mining, Zimasco and Golden Quarry Mine.
Shurugwi town lies about 350 km south of the capital city Harare, 33 kilometres South East of Gweru, and has a population of about 20 000.