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Beitbridge poised for municipal status

Government is considering awarding Beitbridge municipal status for its phenomenal growth and strategic economic role, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Christopher Chingosho, has said.

The port has a population of 73 000 people.

It handles 13 000 on transit daily.

Beitbridge has also recorded phenomenal growth since 2006 when it attained town status.

Chingosho made the remarks at the commissioning of a $40 million water treatment plant by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko in Beitbridge recently.

The project was wholly funded by Government through the Public Sector Investment prog- ramme.

"Many of us will recall that Beitbridge was granted town status in 2006, and in view of the phenomenal growth in barely a decade, it is presently being considered for municipal status.

"This growth has been a result of massive investment by Government and other key stakeholders.

"These have poured in millions of dollars in key infrastructure projects to ensure that the town status is buttressed by matching infrastructure which include inta alia, water facilities.

"The town plays a strategic role in Zimbabwe's economic development and is also a major revenue earner for the country due to the busy port," said Chingosho.

He said the growth of Beitbridge was inevitable and land would be availed for development.

Chingosho said the growth of Beitbridge was straining existing infrastructure making it urgent to allocate resources to the town.

"We welcome the construction of the Beitbridge water treatment plant, which has the capacity to pump 4 000 cubic metres of water per hour.

"Water provision is part of the Government's blueprint, Zim-Asset and the completion of this project is clear testimony of our unflinching commitment towards water provision," he said.

He urged residents and other ratepayers to pay their bills.

Government last year appointed a commission led by Ms Erica Jones, a principal director in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to look into the local authority's request for municipal status.

The commission has since submitted its report to Government for final decision making.

Through the National Economic Priority Development Programme (NEDPP), an initiative by President Mugabe, Government came up with the Beitbridge Redevelopment Programme.

The project is meant to transform the port into a modern medium city.

Under the programme 16 blocks of flats would be built for 64 families mainly middle class civil servants, 250 core houses for home ownership, 52 F14 houses for civil servants, road dualisation, upgrading water supply and sewer infrastructure in the town.

Other institutional facilities include; a new hospital, primary school, secondary school, civic centre, Government composite office block, modern truck inn, shopping complex, a five star hotel, an aerodrome and the upgrading of the current border post to meet world class standards.

Some of the projects are nearing completion.

Others are at various stages of construction.

Government requires $10 million to complete the project.


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