THE Beitbridge municipality has lined up new investment models in a bid to lure investors into the town following its status upgrade recently.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Government recently upgraded Beitbridge Town Council to municipal status following the border town’s rapid growth in recent years and its strategic location.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the upgrade last week, Beitbridge district administrator, Kiliboni Ndou-Mbedzi said to attract investors to the town, they have lined up new investment models which include build, operate and transfer (BOT), build, own, operate and transfer (Boot) as well as going it alone.
“The town is ready for investment,” she said.
“A number of investment models are lined up for you, which include BOT, Boot and go for it alone (sic).
“This is an opportunity for any serious investor to take it up, so that you are identified with a focused and prosperous town that envisions itself as a modern investor-friendly city.
“As we move forward, we, therefore, call for investors to look no further, as Beitbridge present these numerous investment opportunities.”
Ndou-Mbedzi said the town was growing fast in terms of both population and urban development.
According to the 2012 census report, the town had 42 137 people and is estimated to be at around 60 000 this year, growing to 80 000 in 2022.
“In congruence to the unprecedented population growth, the local authority has provided over 5 000 housing units within the last five years,” Ndou-Mbedzi said.
Between 3 000 and 14 000 people pass through Beitbridge on a daily basis.
“In simple terms, the port of entry receives around 800 trucks, 100 buses and 1 500 small vehicles on a daily basis, making it a hive of activity.
“Immeasurable opportunities for investors thus exist, for example, offering services such as truck parking, retail facilities and tourism services to travellers and tourists,” Ndou-Mbedzi said.
Acting town clerk, Loud Ramakgapola told NewsDay that following their status upgrade, the town has been inundated by inquiries from investors.
“When we presented our status and our position at the 2018 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, the inquiries that we got were different from what we got in the previous years,” he said.
“They were promising and showed that people are taking us more seriously in that we are now a municipality and we are a bit more autonomous than we were as a town council,” he said.
Ramakgapola said inquiries were mainly from local businesspeople and “some of them are still following up with us in trying to find out how they can make business out of it”.
He said investors were mainly looking at land development, investing in the town, office development as well as tourism.