MATABELELAND North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Richard Moyo, has hailed corporates who give back to communities through creating employment and critical development projects.
He was speaking during the official opening of a 25 kilometre stretch of the Bulawayo-Nkayi highway on Friday.
The road rehabilitation is courtesy of Chinese goldminer, Ming Chang Sino Africa (Ming Chang), who invested close to US$100 000 into the project in the district of Bubi.
In a speech read on his behalf, Minister Moyo said:
“The Government is open to investment and welcomes corporate citizens who give back to their communities through employment, taxes and critical development projects,” he said.
The development comes after the community struggled to rehabilitate and maintain the road for over 40 years, with various fundraising initiatives failing to bear fruit.
Ming Chang Bubi manager, Weidong Young, said the project is the first of more similar corporate social responsibility initiatives lined up in the district.
There are several other investments by his company into communities across the country.
“We have all the necessary equipment in the house and that makes the project less costly for us as a company.
“We used 21 excavators, rollers, dump trucks, front-end loaders and dozers for the project and committed to ensure the 25km stretch is well maintained going forward.
“We have been in Zimbabwe, as Ming Chang, for 13 years now and in Bubi for seven years.
“We appreciate all the support we are getting from the local leadership in Council and we hope to develop the Bubi economy together,” he said.
Bubi Member of Parliament, Sonny Mguni, said Ming Chang has set the bar high for investors and residents to give back to their community.
“This road has been giving us challenges for a long time and Ming Chang has just challenged other investors to make a positive change in communities.
“Ming Chang did not waste any time on protocol, they agreed as soon as we knocked on their door for support and they delivered this project in no time.
“I am glad to say that the mining company has donated nine boreholes in the district and intends to increase the number,” said Mguni.
Bubi council CEO, Patson Mlilo, said the district’s road network is 911kms, of which 440kms is managed by the council.
Out of the 440kms, Mlilo said, only 45kms had hard surface roads or tarred roads.
“If you have a good road network, you bring investors into the community and farmers have no trouble sending their produce to market as well as receiving their inputs.
“We have struggled to maintain the road due to lack of equipment and at times we rehabilitate a gravel road, but it needs attention soon after the rains because we do not have rollers and other equipment to harden the surface properly,” Mlilo said.