Zimbabwe: Vending Market Due for Launch

20 September 2015

Zimbabwe Independent

A US$5 million Mbudzi People's Market project, which is part of three major deals reached between the City of Harare and Augur Investments, is now at an advanced stage and nearing completion. The project is set to be launched on October 23.

The market, conveniently developed at a central location along Simon Mazorodze and High Glen Roads, is expected to serve travellers, locals found around the market and the general public as an alternative to existing markets. Other development phases will include the construction of a bus terminus, a service station and a truck port for which US$15 million has since been set aside for their execution. According to developers, Mbudzi People's Market was built to provide a new retail hybrid to Zimbabwe where formal and informal traders will operate under one roof, an aesthetically pleasing selling space, quality infrastructure, security and ablution facilities offering a wide range of commodities and services.

In the deal, City of Harare partnered Augur through its subsidiary, Sunshine Development (Pvt) Ltd. Addressing the media in the capital on Monday, Augur chairman Ken Sharpe said the project was a milestone for the country as it addressed the need for the upholding of Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) as a vital strategy in development. According to Sharpe, the project, in which Augur investments owns a 70% equity stake, and the City of Harare, through its partnering entity, owning the remaining 30%, is a brainchild of Sunshine Development and was developed through extensive market-researches conducted last year in which he emulated developments in Malaysia. "It's the first time it has been done in Zimbabwe, and we used the model that we learnt of in Malaysia. It's a noble project and new in Zimbabwe but on the international market it's by no means new", said Sharpe. Mbudzi People's Market has leasable area covering 5 000 square metres. It contains 11 halls all linked under central walk ways. The centre offers a joint market for both players in the formal and the informal sector with vendors who, before evictions, were found in Harare's Central Business District (CBD).

The facility has 435 tables reserved for vendors and small-scale economic players while 100 shop units are for the formal market. Market giants like Chicken Inn, Baker's Inn as well as TM, amongst others, will also be occupying space. The centre is hybrid in nature and will also incorporate sections including fast foods, beauty and health, clothing and hardware. To date, 300 tables have since been booked for occupation. Through a power supply deal with Oxygen Africa, Augur Investments will install rooftop solar systems to provide complementary power and will export excess power. "We have imported solar panels into Zimbabwe to provide uninterrupted power at the center via the grid as well as offering tenants constant supply of power. The concept is to supply more power into the grid than it will consume. Producing 800KVA, the project has the capacity to consume an estimated 600KMW, while exporting 1gig", said Sharpe. Mbudzi market is designed in a way that facilitates natural lighting and ventilation.

Till last year, Augur, which is also involved in the development of the Millennium Park in Harare's affluent suburb of Borrowdale, where it is developing a US$100 million worth shopping complex, the Mall of Zimbabwe.