BULAWAYO, Friday, October 14, 1966 — Makokoba, Bulawayo City Council’s oldest African township and one of the most populous residential areas, may one day become one of the most sought after.
Closely built and for many years overcrowded, Makokoba has a singular and important economic advantage over other townships: its proximity to the city.
A phased programme of redeveloping the township is in progress, the council’s aim being to eventually to demolish all houses considered to be outdated.
The programme is gradually changing the township, as more and more modern flats go up to replace the undesirable buildings.
Besides providing modern homes, the redevelopment thins out the population. In addition to flats for 500 families have been built at Nguboyenja, and many more families have been moved to new homes at Magwegwe from Makokoba to reduce congestion.
Behind all this is a practical plan by the Council. This allows for the demolition of certain houses while retaining others. An official said: “There are certain houses which may still be alright for 15 to 20 years.”
It would be foolish — to say the least — to demolish them because this would mean an increase in in rents many residents cannot afford.
First built by residents themselves on land provided by the City Council in the 1890s, and becoming council responsibility in 1912. Makokoba is probably the only township which has communal lavatories, taps and ablution blocks.
But it has a swimming bath and the most essential facilities of a community — schools, community hall, crèche, boys and women centres.