Gwanda municipality, which is eyeing city status in a year, has dangled a carrot to investors by giving out an avalanche of incentives to lure investors to the gold mining town.
The town is located 126km south east of Bulawayo, and is the capital of Matabeleland South province.
Council has dangled a 25% discount on land sale, additional 10 % discount for outright cash payment towards land value, 100% removal/waiver of development levies if construction commences within 12 months from day of purchase of land and exemption from payment of council rates for the first 12 months.
Economic centres surrounding Gwanda include Mbalabala, West Nicholson, Filabusi, Esigodini and Matobo.
The town is endowed with natural resources, which include, but not limited to gold ore, lime ore (at PPC Mine), livestock rich grazing land, granite and beautiful geographical landscape for tourism on which it hinges its economic growth.
Despite being endowed with all these resources, the town has nothing to show in terms of development which has prompted the town fathers to line up a number of incentives to woo investors.
In an interview at the local authority’s stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week, the town’s economic development officer, Mandlenkosi Moyo said the local authority was in overdrive to woo investors to the gold mining town.
“We have target areas which we are promoting and our theme is ‘infrastructure development to make industry tick” which is aimed at creating a conducive environment for industrial development and sustainable service delivery. We have also improved our road network to be an envy of many, thanks to the Zimbabwe National Road Administration funding,” said Moyo.
He said artisanal miners were the force behind economic growth in the region, producing more than the combined effort of the three big mines in Gwanda namely Blanket, Vumbachikwe and Farvic.
Moyo said the local authority was also targeting to increase hotel rooms in Gwanda as they only stand at 100.
“Gwanda is the capital of Matabeleland South; we do have land set aside for investment in hotels and lodges. We are coming from a background where land was sold to people who had no capacity and we can’t grab the land back. We have another space earmarked for investment in the hospitality and tourism sector, but we are not going to give out to someone without a business profile,” said Moyo.
He also invited investors to invest in quarry mining at Masholomoshe Mountain given that most of the town’s construction aggregate comes from Bulawayo.
Moyo said livestock value-addition chain investors were welcome to come and invest and tap into the large stock of livestock which Gwanda is endowed with.