The government has reaffirmed its commitment to the completion of projects under the Beitbridge Redevelopment Programme, saying they are critical in transforming the border town into a modern city.

Beitbridge is one of the fastest growing towns in the country as it has attained municipal status just 10 years after the establishment of the town council.

The transformation of the town has also been spurred by the Beitbridge Redevelopment Programme which was initiated by the government in 2006.

It identified a number of projects for implementation, among them upgrading of the border post to meet world class standards, construction of a five star hotel and shopping complex, rehabilitation of water and sewer infrastructure and road dualisation, among others.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Province Cde Abednico Ncube during a dinner to celebrate the elevation of Beitbridge to municipal status, Vice President Kembo Mohadi said the border town will become a modern city once funds are availed for the completion of outstanding projects.

“The government recently announced the allocation of $14 million to upgrade the border post and is also looking at establishing an airport to service the town. If these plans come to fruition, we may soon talk of Beitbridge becoming a city,” he said.

The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing said it expects the municipality to improve service delivery and other social amenities, while Bulawayo City Council Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube called for cordinal working relations between policy makers and the management for the programme.

“This status that you have attained means added responsibilities, service delivery has to improve and we want to see industrial development sprouting. You are the face of Zimbabwe so you have a responsibility to ensure that the town is clean and inviting,” he said.

“There are often problems on the clarity of roles between the policy makers and management. Policy makers go to excesses as they want to come up with policy and implement it as well,” added Mr Dube.

Beitbridge Mayoress, Councillor Showa Moyo invited investors, saying the town aims at being first in the province to be accorded a city status.

“Our aim is to be the first town to achieve city status, what we need is investment in industries. I believe if we work together, we can achieve this goal,” she said.

Beitbridge becomes the second municipality in the province after Gwanda.

The dinner was also graced by Beitbridge Senator, Cde Tambudzani Mohadi, Zanu PF Matabeleland South Provincial Chairman Cde Rabelani Choene, the business community and other stakeholders.