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MBABANE - The Municipal Council of Mbabane (MCM) is keen on receiving proposals for the development of Portion 1191 of Farm 2, an area known as the Old Abattoir.

MCM said the objective of this development was to promote economic growth in Mbabane city through increased business activity and the creation of employment opportunities, among other things. A Request for Proposals (RFP) should be submitted before March 10, 2023. MCM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gideon Mhlongo said they want to contribute towards creating a vibrant 24-hour city.


He said the objective of this development was to promote sustainable use and development of environmentally sensitive areas to a point where they can be used to attract tourists as well as serve as educational sites for environmental issues. The Old Abattoir is a Brownfield site measuring about one hectare (10 000 square metres) and nestled between Mhlambanyatsi Road (MR 19) and the MR 3 Highway. Its position gives a panoramic view of the Mbabane Central Business District (CBD). It has an old structure that used to house an abattoir. Mhlongo said this RFP was for a public-private partnership (PPP) between the council and a qualifying developer. “This partnership should ensure efficient urban planning and management. The development is proposed to take the form of a long-term lease and Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) on Portion 1191 of Farm 2,” he added.
The CEO said in the DBFOM type of PPP, the private sector designs, builds, finances, operates and maintains a facility, and then sells the product or service to its users or beneficiaries. The council will grant a negotiable long-term lease. During the lease period, the developer will pay rent on the land based on market prices. At the end of the lease, the operations revert to the city council with all the improvements.


Mhlongo said the council intends to award the contract based on the proven ability of the tenderer to carry out the assignment, a clear understanding of the issues, relevant experience, a rigorous approach to managing the collation of the available data, and an ability to complete specific elements of the assignment on time. “The council will notify the developer in writing as soon as practicable, about the outcome of the RFP evaluation process, including whether the developer’s RFP response has been accepted or rejected. The council is not obliged to provide any reasons for any such acceptance or rejection,” he said. Meanwhile, for ease of doing business, Mbabane Major Dephney Mhlanga mentioned that they were closely monitoring and improving internal processes for all land development applications in the city. “As part of this initiative, building permit applications are now processed within 25 days, down from the statutory six weeks. I encourage developers and anyone acquiring a plot in Mbabane for development to come talk to council staff before making firm commitments,” she added.


The mayor also mentioned that a total of 19 small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs), which include informal vendors and Mbabane Out of School Youth (22), have been trained in basic business management. She said the programme’s objective was to instill a culture of evidence-based entrepreneurship practices, good record keeping and writing winning financial proposals. “Council convened a business forum for property developers and estate agents in the city to discuss available PPP opportunities in the city,” she added. Mhlanga also mentioned that they were determined to address flash flooding, which had been a common feature during the rainy season in the past decade in the CBD and Sidwashini Industrial Site. She said part of the strategy has been to install larger culverts to increase water intake across all main drainage lines. The council’s intervention has led to reduced incidences of flooding.

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