The Construction Industry Pension Fund (CIPF) is bullish about completing its US$14m shopping mall in Norton despite the current macro-economic challenges facing the economy.
The construction of the shopping mall, which has two phases, started in 2017 and is expected to generate income for the Fund that can be channelled into other developmental projects. The initial phase was completed and handed over by the contractor (Masimba Construction) in November 2018 while the second phase is expected to start in mid-2020 as the CIPF is currently occupied with other ongoing projects.
Elisha Ngunga, the CIPF chief executive, told Business Times that the Norton project was work in progress and had the capacity to change the face of the satellite town.
“We are done with Phase 1 of the Norton mall which was handed over in November 2018 and we are now working towards Phase 2, which will be delayed because of some projects that we are undertaking,” Ngunga said.
“The whole project (phases 1 and 2) will have a combined cost of US$14m. Phase 2 is scheduled for mid-2020. The change in currency did not affect the project because when the currency reforms were introduced, we had already completed Phase 1.”
Phase 1 entailed the construction of the shopping mall, service station and other external works. CIPF is one of the oldest pension funds in the country, established on 1 July 1969. As at 31 May 2019, its asset base stood at ZWL$50m, up from ZWL$1.06m in 1971.
It has a membership of 41,855, from the initial 4,219 when it was founded. CIPF is also the owner of Msasa and Windsor Houses in Mutare, Mership and Mimosa Houses in Bulawayo, 697 Craig Allen in New Ardbennie in Harare, and Thorngrove industrial shells in Bulawayo.
The Fund also developed the Stoneridge Housing Scheme to give its members access to decent housing. CIPF is a successor to the Building Industry Pension Fund which was established in July 1969. It is registered under the Pensions and Provident Funds Act (Chapter 24:09) and constituted by Statutory Instrument (SI) 323 of 1991 as amended by SI 243 of 2006. Its rules and regulations are founded in SI 239 of 1992 as amended by SI 276 of 1995.
The Fund’s constitution and regulations are amended from time to time to align with the laws of the country and changed circumstances. Its objectives are to provide for the payment of pensions and death benefits and to enable employers to provide pension benefits for their employees.
It is a Defined Contribution Occupational Pension Scheme and membership to the Fund is compulsory for all employees with designated trades in the construction industry.