BY SILAS NKALA
THE Hwange Local Board (HLB) says it is planning to launch a massive housing project at Empumalanga Phase 6, which will include 700 houses, a school, industries, and churches.
This was disclosed by HLB secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose who told Southern Eye that the project would be implemented by FBC Building Society on a 39 000 hectare piece of land.
“In 2018, HLB sold approximately 39, 1948 hectares to FBC Building Society for the construction of 764 houses and a residential flat in what will be referred to as Empumalanga Phase 6 housing scheme. The other portion of land has also been set aside for a school, commercial mall, a small to medium enterprises industrial site, churches, two crèches and open land stands,” Mdlalose said.
“On January 29, officials from FBC Building Society met with HLB management to deliberate on outstanding issues, which the financial institution intends to be addressed before it starts construction at its allotted area. FBC Building Society needed HLB to commit to an agreement it undertook at the time of purchasing the land.”
Mdlalose said the council had undertaken to develop offsite infrastructure, which will include surfaced access road, water and sewer mainlines, as well as an access bridge from Empumalanga Phase 3 to Empumalanga.
“In turn, the council is expected to offset the development undertaken by the financial institution through offering other services on a compensatory basis. HLB will, however, construct a main sewer trunk to service the new settlement including Empumalanga Phase 4. FBC Building Society intends to commence its project this year,” Mdlalose said.
“The FBC Building Society project is the third biggest housing scheme being undertaken in HLB’s area of jurisdiction. Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) Hwange and Hwange Electricity Supply Company (Hesco) are expected to start construction of more than 500 houses in Empumalanga Phase 7 for their employees.”
The town secretary also said ZPC Hwange will be relocating employees from its Ingagula suburb to pave way for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, while Hesco will construct houses to accommodate part of its workforce.
He said the Housing and Social Amenities ministry was also at an advanced stage of completing the servicing of more than 2 000 high-density residential stands in Empumalanga West, adding that the projects would spur economic growth in the coal-mining town.