Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
VICE President Phelekeza Mphoko yesterday said Zimbabwe could soon supply South Africa’s northern provinces with water as the two countries have opened negotiations over the matter.
Vhembe District, which borders with Zimbabwe along the Limpopo River, comprises five municipalities.
VP Mphoko said this at the commissioning of a new water treatment plant in Beitbridge. The $40 million plant, with a pumping capacity of 4000 cubic metres of water per hour, was wholly funded by Government through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
Beitbridge town draws its water from the Limpopo River. It requires an average of 15 000 mega litres of water per day. Beitbridge has experienced water woes for the past three decades. The old water treatment plant was designed to supply only 3000 mega litres per day.
“This water treatment plant could be one of the quick wins for this bilateral cooperation since there is already an existing pipeline from Beitbridge to Musina. I am also advised that the plant will not only supply water to residents of this town alone, but will also supply water to surrounding communities within 40km radius from the town.
“These include Lutumba, Dumba, Nuli and Mapayi. This will no doubt result in the transformation of these places in terms of hygiene and improved sanitation,” said VP Mphoko.
He said the development of key infrastructure was one of the key Government priorities under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
He said Beitbridge was strategically located at one of the busiest ports of entries in Sadc, hence the need to give developmental projects in the area top priority.
“As a Government, we are conscious of the strategic role the town of Beitbridge plays in Zimbabwe’s economic development as it is the largest port of entry linking Zimbabwe to South Africa and the sea handling millions of travellers each year in the process,” he said.
VP Mphoko said Beitbridge was very prone to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, dysentery and other related diseases that are associated with transit zones.