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Gweru seeks private investors for projects to reduce reliance on rates

GWERU – The Gweru City Council said on Monday it was courting potential private investors to partner in some of its business units to reduce its reliance on rates and other levies.

Speaking at a budget meeting, city business development manager, Rodwell Musiwa said inflows from rates and levies were not enough to sustain the municipality.

He said there was high default rates in the payment of rates, hence the bid by council to revive some of its businesses to improve cashflows.

“Due to economic hardships, residents have been failing to consistently meet council obligations. There also has been poor disbursement of grants by central government, which has immensely contributed to inconsistent and unreliable service delivery by council,” he said.

Among business ventures the council wanted to tout to potential investors was Gweru Quarry Mine, Clonsilla Truck Stop, water bottling plant, waste to energy project, solar farm, Go Beer Breweries and a garment manufacturing business.

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“The quarry mine is still undeveloped and an estimated US$2,5 million is required to commence the project. Potential partners have since submitted their proposals which are currently being reviewed by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency and following due process,” Musiwa said.

He said implementation and development of the Clonsilla Truck Stop, which will have food and refreshment facilities, had commenced.

The project, he said is moving at a slower pace due to a number of challenges.

“Activities which are in dire need of funding are ablution facilities and shower rooms, canteen and tower lights,” he said.

The water bottling plant has not commenced due to lack of funding, with US$19 000 required for the supply and commissioning of the water bottling plant.

Musiwa said Gweru was looking for partners for a waste to energy project which has potential to boost council revenue through production of biogas, organic fertiliser and electricity.

Feasibility studies are currently underway to establish whether it is profitable for council to have its own garment production unit compared to outsourcing.

“This has been initiated due to a significant budgetary component being channelled towards procurement of protective clothing, uniforms for municipal police and fire as well as corporate wear,” he said.

The proposed partnership with private investors follows the success of one the council entered into to manage parking in the city. New Ziana