“Seize the Investment Opportunities of Beitbridge Town”
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
AFFIRMATIVE The Action Group’s Deputy President, Mr Passion Java, has urged young entrepreneurs in the country to take full advantage of the business development opportunities arising from Beitbridge’s ongoing border redevelopment project.
The government is modernizing the border in partnership with the Zimborders Consortium at a cost of US$300 million and already more than 1,000 people, mostly women and youth, have participated.
On the other hand, the Zimborders Consortium outsources 40 percent of its raw material from local companies.
In an interview during a tour of the border modernization works on Tuesday, Mr Java said there are many investment opportunities in Beitbridge Town waiting to be exploited.
“We have seen the massive redevelopment work taking place around the town of Beitbridge and the border,” he said.
“Our request as AAG, working with the Presidential Support Organization Support Trust and Young Women for Economic Development, encourages youth to be actively involved in these projects.
“We would like them to organize and receive tenders for a range of tasks, including but not limited to the supply of raw materials, construction and logistics.”
Mr Java also commended the community of Beitbridge for creating a favorable environment for investment in line with the town’s transformation into a mid-sized city.
He said land prices are fair, so young companies should take advantage of real estate development opportunities.
The city has investment opportunities in infrastructure development, beef and related products, manufacturing, ranching, retail, warehousing, packaging, housing, transportation and logistics, among others.
The local community has since already used 248 hectares of land to house projects under the Special Economic Zone concept, which includes heavy and light industry.
Beitbridge Town Clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola said recently that they hired the Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority (ZIDA) to create a special purpose vehicle to encourage investment in one of the country’s fastest growing cities.
“We are still working with investors, but the movement is slow and our intention is to work with ZIDA to get the ball rolling,” he said.
“You will notice that there has been an air of calm and we have not met with ZIDA since its inception. So we need to meet and make a difference.
“The other issues that have slowed progress are the feasibility study that is still pending and the special purpose vehicle between us and them (ZIDA) that should be completed.”
The local authority recently decided, among other things, to swiftly process business proposals from investors in order to cut red tape that hinders economic growth.
A Young Women Economic Development representative, Ms. Catherine Kawaza, said improving border operations will help the growth of most of their cross-border businesses.
“We’re excited to see the border getting a facelift and local businesses are already doing business as the number of travelers through our city gradually increases,” she said.