VICE-PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi (pictured) has said the recent upgrading of Beitbridge to municipal status has opened numerous business opportunities for investors.
BY OWN CORREPSONDENT
In a recent speech read on his behalf by Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abednico Ncube, Mohadi said investors could tap into the vast beef industry and the great tourism potential in all areas around Beitbridge.
He added that investors could also exploit Beitbridge’s rapid population growth by providing private schools and tertiary education.
“Given the rapid population growth, most of primary and secondary schools are overwhelmed in terms of enrolment. Although Beitbridge carries a large population, there is no tertiary institution in town, leaving locals to travel to Masvingo and Gwanda to access that,” he said.
“Opportunities, therefore, exist in the establishment of colleges and universities,” he said, urging the new municipality to dream big.
This, he said, was important for the security of children’s future.
There has been talk of transforming either the former Rainbow or Holiday Express hotels into universities, but this has not been confirmed.
The two hotels shut down, citing lack of business, although the situation left the border town in need of such facilities.
Mohadi said Beitbridge, which slaughters 100 cattle a day, could set up a beef products factory and tannery.
“Have we ever asked ourselves where these hides go to?”
He mentioned the need for an improved health system, saying the single district hospital had been outgrown by population and private investors could tape-in.
“There are opportunities to open specialist doctors’ rooms in town,” Mohadi said.
The VP urged tourism players to capture the charming features of the Limpopo River, providing the physical boundary between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Limpopo River has scenic features and riverfront accommodation, water sports and wildlife viewing along the river were all begging exploitation.
He said the government was playing its part, improving Beitbridge Border Post that will make the port user-friendly to tourists.
Mohadi urged the new municipality to find ways to raise revenue for the smooth and efficient service delivery, which is a headache to most local authorities.
He thanked the people of Beitbridge and all stakeholders for supporting the application for municipality.
In his welcome remarks, Ncube said it was important to note that Beitbridge people had made huge steps in making Matabeleland South province proud.
Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube said Beitbridge should employ a chamber secretary and an economist.
“You will also require a town planner because this is no longer ordinary land administration, but good planning attracts investment,” he said.
Dube urged the government to retain the town secretary, Loud Ramakgapola, who has championed Beitbridge’s transformation.
“We are against a policy which says the job of a town secretary who succeeded in turning around a council to a municipality be advertised because attaining that new status is evidence of capacity and continuity is encouraged,” he said.
The inaugural Beitbridge mayoress, Showa Moyo, said the local authority will strive to address residents’ expectations.
Beitbridge is home to sub-Saharan Africa’s busiest border post.