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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Chiredzi SMEs to benefit from construction of mall

Story by Gay Matambo

THE Construction of Buffalo Range Small to Medium Enterprises Mall in Chiredzi has commenced in a development set to create a conducive working space for close to 140 entrepreneurs.

The issue of operating space has been stalling the growth of the SME sector in Chiredzi, but this is set to change with an SME mall being constructed in the area through a Public Private Partnership between the Chiredzi Rural District Council and the Chamber of SMEs.

Apart from creating decent working space for SMEs upon completion, the project has created employment for 80 members of the local community.

“We welcome this project in our area because we used to go to Chiredzi town or Triangle to purchase groceries or anything else we wanted. After the completion of the project, we will now be able to get all that we need close by,” said a resident from the area.

“I sell quarry stones for a living including a number of ladies in this area. We are already benefiting as a community as we are supplying quarry stones for construction works while our children have been employed here as well. This will lessen issues to do with crime and drug abuse amongst our youths since they now have jobs,” noted a beneficiary.

Addressing SMEs and community members at the ground-breaking ceremony, Masvingo SME’s Provincial Chairperson, Mr Venancio Kurauone said the project is part of ongoing efforts to formalise the sector.

“We noticed that the other way of formalising the informal sector is to provide decent working spaces for them. From there we can then collect revenue for the development of our country. The community is going to benefit from this project because a solar-powered borehole will be put in place and also our vendors in the area, our mothers who took us to school, will also be able to get their own working space free of charge where they will be able to sell their produce from. We are also targeting to employ locals and purchase part of the building material for the project from them in a move that is meant to empower the community,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chiredzi North legislator Honourable Roy Bhila stressed the importance of such projects in the second republic’s inclusive development agenda.

“This policy that the Chamber of SMEs is bringing to our area resonates well with what the Second Republic’s mantra says, “leaving no one and no place behind in development.” For the development of our area, we now need to ensure that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and all the ZANU PF candidates win this year’s general elections. This project is in line with the devolution programme as well because even those vendors who cannot afford the bigger shops at the mall will still be able to get decent working spaces once the project is complete,” highlighted Bhila.

The construction of the Buffalo Range SMEs mall comes after the completion of the Chiredzi SMEs Centre expected to be commissioned in June this year.

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