BY SILAS NKALA
HWANGE Local Board (HLB) has partnered with South Mining (Pvt) Limited to construct a state-of-the-art public library at an estimated cost of US$100 000 with the aim of improving education standards in the district. This was revealed in the council’s latest report.
Hwange chairperson Nqobile Ocean Mabhena said the construction of the public library was part of the local authority’s strategy to create synergies with private players for the development of the district.
He said they entered into a public-private-partnership arrangement with South Mining for the construction of the library.
Mabhena, however, said owing to the prevailing economic challenges the council was financially constrained to carry out some of the projects.
“We have to resort to alternative models of funding to embark on some of the projects and one such way is venturing into partnerships with private players,” he said.
The library, he said, was expected to be technologically a modern facility.
“The library won’t be your traditional type of building filled with stacks of books and resources. Apart from offering a wide range of books, it will consist of electronic resources such as computers and Wi-Fi, encouraging users to do more in terms of research. Over and above that, we expect it to be a relational library where people meet and interact,” he said.
Mabhena said the library would play a pivotal role in improving the pass rate in Hwange district.
“Hwange district has always had the highest pass rate in the province but there is a need to improve nationally and I believe this library can play a part in that,” he said.
South Mining representative Charles Muchabaiwa said the construction of the public library in Empumalanga high-density suburb was expected to be complete before the end of the year.
He said the move was part of the coke processing company’s social corporate responsibility.
“We are looking at investing about US$100 000 towards the construction of an upmarket library including purchasing of related ancillary equipment to be used there such as computers and furniture,” he said.
“Construction of the library is one of the many ways of ploughing back to the community from which we operate. This library won’t be your traditional form of a library but it will be highly technological.”
The company has already cleared and fenced off the area designated for the construction of the library.
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