BULAWAYO is set to have a China City soon if deliberations between council and its partner City of Polokwane in South Africa bear any fruits.
Polokwane, the capital of the Limpopo province, established a China City, which is a shopping complex with 72 shops ranging from those selling clothes, shoes, handbags, toys, furniture to restaurants, among others.
It is situated along the N1 highway leading to Beitbridge at the Polokwane Airport junction that is on a central focal point of the Limpopo province making it easier for people to do their shopping without travelling all the way to Johannesburg.
The cities of Bulawayo and Polokwane which signed a memorandum of understanding on October 19 2012 under the auspices of the Trans-Limpopo Spartial Development Initiative are engaged in discussions that would see the facilitation of the establishment of a China City in Bulawayo.
Modalities of the joint venture are at an advanced stage and the Bulawayo City Council has been invited to exhibit at the Polokwane Trade Affair in May giving it an opportunity to tap into the investment market of the neighbouring country.
Speaking in an interview with Southern Eye at the council stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (Zitf) where the City of Polokwane is also exhibiting, Polokwane Economic Development and Tourism manager Moipone Segooa confirmed plans to facilitate the setting up of a China City in Bulawayo.
“We are involved in talks to help facilitate the establishment of such a venture through our co-operation as sister cities,” she said.
“We would want to see the City of Bulawayo have a China City similar to the one set up in Polokwane which is due to be opened on June 14,” Segooa said.
“These are issues under discussions, including other economic ventures of interest to the two cities.
“ In that regard, we have invited the City of Bulawayo to come and exhibit at our trade fair in May so that they familiarise with business opportunities in Polokwane.”
Her sentiments were echoed by council economic development officer Brian Hlongwane who said the two cities’ role was to create an enabling environment to establish the venture. The proposed development comes at a time council is involved in efforts to convert Bulawayo’s Basch Street Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, into a regional public transport hub.
The project, which will involve construction of a shopping complex at the site, is expected to cost $59 million. A South African civil engineering firm Tearracota (Pvt) Ltd has been awarded the tender for the job.