Home » Business » Construction of U.S $100 Million Mall Remains On Hold

Construction of the $100 million Mall of Zimbabwe complex and surrounding developments in Borrowdale, Harare, is still on hold awaiting the Environmental Management Agency’s approval permit.

EMA has since carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) stakeholders’ consultation in which Augur Investments showcased their plans, while residents aired their views as part of the process.

EMA spokesperson Mr Steady Kangate yesterday said the agency was still deliberating on the issue and would make an announcement in due course.

“We carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment stakeholders’ consultation, which will assist us to come up with an informed decision,” he said.

According to the Government Gazette of July 27, 2012 the mall site was declared a wetland, but Augur chairman Mr Ken Sharpe argued that they were not developing on the wetland, but around the wetland.

“I am quite satisfied that EMA has been exhaustive in the consultation dialogue. We have not yet been given the final clearance to develop, but from the deliberations and feedback from various stakeholders at the meeting, it was positive.

“To set the record straight on the EMA fees, there is a misconception that EMA supports projects to get paid. However, their fees are charged and collected upon application of the EIA and regardless of the outcome of the application,” said Mr Sharpe.

“We will not do anything that will harm the environment. We are actually willing to invest in saving the wetlands which are under threat from dumping and illegal farming activities,” he said.

He said the Long Cheng Plaza was built on an area said to be a wetland, but the developers improved the wetland.

“It was not destroyed, it is actually functioning better. If others were given a chance, why can’t we be given a chance?” he said.

Mr Sharpe said part of the development objective was to incorporate in the landscape a park land with water features, and weirs as well as a constructed wetland area, which was far more efficient in performance than the existing natural wetland.

The Government recently approved indigenisation plans for the $100 million Mall of Zimbabwe complex, which is in line with Zim-Asset.

The development will be a catalyst for major foreign investment and a boost for the economy in terms of thousands of jobs created and massive downstream beneficiation to local industry.

The emporium will have about 150 shops, including restaurants, retail and fast food businesses and recreational facilities to create a one-stop-shop destination centre with many multinational chains and local tenants, which include small businesses.

Augur Investments, through its unit West Properties and their development partner, will build the exquisite mall on a piece of land it got from the Government in exchange for designing and constructing part of the road to Harare International Airport.

Source : The Herald

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