Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
BEITBRIDGE District is endowed with several investment opportunities including citrus production, livestock, irrigation infrastructure development, renewable energy, tourism, horticulture, mining, transport and logistics awaiting exploitation under an envisaged Government devolution concept.
In an interview yesterday, acting district development coordinator Mr Jahson Mugodzwa said they had already laid the foundation for massive economic development in the area.
He said so far Beitbridge Rural District Council and the municipality had received $516 000 and $135 000 respectively for capital projects relating to water infrastructure development.
“Recently we attended a devolution conference with a number of captains of industries among other stakeholders to sell our investment opportunities and we hope that will help us take off.
“We are going to be having follow-up meetings at provincial level (Matabeleland South) to take stock of where we are and improve from there,” said Mr Mugodzwa.
Some of the projects lined up, he said, included irrigation infrastructure development and the construction of more primary health care centres.
He said under Beitbridge Municipality they expected sewer and water reticulation to top the list of capital projects.
Mr Mugodzwa said Beitbridge’s proximity to South Africa presented a lot of opportunities for investment in manufacturing, road, rail and air transport and logistics, tourism development and related international trade facilitation services.
“In terms of culture, we need to upgrade the local National Railways of Zimbabwe station to allow cultural showcases of the Venda culture to those tourists on their journeys between South Africa and Victoria Falls by rail transport.
“Our other biggest project is the sale of water to Limpopo province, mainly Vhembe. We have many water sources to sustain such an initiative. This would generate the much needed revenue to improve service delivery in our local authorities or even fund infrastructure development projects like roads,” he said.
Mr Mugodzwa said it was also important for Government to speed up the implementation of the One-Stop Border Post concept with South Africa and rehabilitate the Harare- Beitbridge road.
He said such a move will make Beitbridge the port of entry of choice and grow investment opportunities that come with a world- class border post.
Mr Mugodzwa said National Parks and other tourism players should take advantage of the district with it being part of two Transfrontier Conservation Areas with South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana an invest in related services.
“Livestock development, citrus (especially in Beitbridge East constituency) and mining are some of our major economic drivers where opportunities are abound for investors. Our office, working with the two local authorities, is willing to assist anyone seeking to invest in our area,” said Mr Mugodzwa.
He said the completion of the 63km Zhovhe-Beitbridge Canal will go a long way in addressing water problems in the town.