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Friday, July 12, 2024

IDBZ injects millions in Bulawayo’s infrastructure development

Story by Yolanda Moyo

THE Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is making significant strides in transforming Bulawayo’s infrastructure landscape focusing on student accommodation.

The multi-purpose complex comprises three blocks of flats funded to the tune of US$15.6 million by the IDBZ, provides safe, affordable and conducive accommodation for students.

The project is in partnership with the Mining Industry Pension Fund, Old Mutual and Zimnat.

The students’ complex comes at a time when most students were forced to endure cramped and often unsafe living conditions.

“The complex is a safe space for us as the girl child. There is the use of the biometric system to access the complex and it is near NUST one can go and study without worrying about walking at least 2 kilometres or more,” said one of the students.

Another added, “We are truly grateful for such a complex because you feel safe all the time. We have everything we need here. It is a one-stop centre from food, cosmetics, and stationery we get it here.”

“For a whole year, I was sharing a room with four other students, the sanitation levels were low, and the landlord would come up with fees that we could not understand. Security wise sharing a room with four students and how do you account for your stuff living under such conditions. When we used to walk to our place seeing the place being constructed and finished was a relief and l was one of the first people to come here and life has been different actually. Honestly, l am grateful for the government for this initiative,” another student noted.

The project has created jobs in construction and property management, contributing to provincial economic growth.

“The project has benefited us as locals because a number of people here in Bulawayo managed to get jobs because of this massive infrastructure, from construction upon to when it was completed. We are truly grateful to IDBZ and government for such projects because now l am a janitor and can manage to take care of my children,” said one of the locals.

The bank is also involved in developing essential infrastructure which is expected to contribute to economic development.

“We have projects in Plumtree. We have residential areas here in Bulawayo and medical centres constructed locater for people in Bulawayo. We are motivated by the mantra of leaving no one and no place behind. We want to ensure that female students have affordable clean accommodation which feeds into the education sector. We are on a drive to ensure that people have access to proper health facilities and people have affordable accommodation,” said IDBZ board chair, Dr Khuphukile Mlambo.

IDBZ chief executive officer, Mr Zondo Sakala said, “We not just in hard infrastructure but we also have interventions in social sector like education and health. We are also supporting irrigation projects in the agriculture and manufacturing sector. We are an infrastructure and development bank, we would love to expand into all sectors to transform our economy. Infrastructure is the delivery platform for any economy and for Vision 2030 to be achieved.”

The initiative is expected to be replicated in other cities with Lupane the next port of call.

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