Devolution funds help Beitbridge council build new school Beitbridge Mayor Councillor Peter Pirato Mafuta

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

The new primary school built in Beitbridge town’s Ward 4, in the Khwalu 2 suburb will open for classes in January next year.

Beitbridge Mayor Councillor Peter Pirato Mafuta said recently that the school whose construction was made possible through devolution funds was almost complete.

He was addressing stakeholders soon after his election in the municipal boardroom. The school has two classroom blocks and authorities are working on toilets and related facilities.

So far, the local authority spent at least $18 million to build the two classroom blocks from the 2022 devolution allocation.

“In the first six months I want to see us start the construction of a new clinic, complete a toilet block at Alfred Beit Primary school so that the school can open in January 2024, and completion of the rank which is long overdue,” said the mayor. “We also need to improve public lighting and I am advised we have entered into an agreement with Econet to use some of their base stations to install public lights, and start offering stands in the new town centre which will make our town look new and modern”.

The new primary school, Alfred Beit Primary, was named after the trust which built the first bridge that links Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1935.

Since the 1980s, the Beitbridge council only had two schools under its ambit, Dulivhadzimu Primary School and Vhembe High School.

It is expected that the building of the Alfred Beit Primary school will help decongest other schools in the town.

“Two classroom blocks have already been completed at the new school and the construction of ablution facilities has commenced so that see this school opening doors at the latest in January 2024,” said the Mayor.

The local authority also plans to use more funds to build more schools to accommodate the town’s ever-growing population. The town needs four primary and two secondary schools. Ideally the council needs to have a primary school for every 5000 people and one secondary school for every three feeder primary schools.

The town has an estimated population of 100 000 with three secondary and six official primary schools.

Speaking during a recent stakeholder’s midterm budget review, council finance director Mr Anymore Mbedzi said they had also used their devolution allocations to buy the earthmoving equipment.

“Earth moving equipment is critical in stands servicing and road maintenance and construction. Some of these have been paid for and we are awaiting delivery,” said Mr Mbedzi.

With devolution funds, the council had been able to digitise services, buy solar power back up systems to ensure continuous services, and upgrade the local authorities digital systems for budget formulation.

The municipality intends to build a polyclinic, construct 25 two roomed houses, procure a 20 000 litres bowser to augment the firefighting services plus a tipper, a 12 tonne roller compactor and an ambulance, install public lights, buy two service vehicles and drill two boreholes at strategic points.

Service delivery has gradually been improving at the cash-strapped municipality as the Government continues pouring in funds for capital projects under the devolution initiative.

Among other things the local authority has in the last four years managed to procure a refuse compactor truck, and earth moving equipment, upgraded its ICT facilities and procured two service vehicles.

They also built five two-roomed houses to address the colonial problem of crowding in the Dulivhadzimu suburbs. The council is targeting to build a set of 28 new two roomed houses.

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