Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

Affirmative Action Group deputy president Mr Passion Java has challenged youthful entrepreneurs in the country to fully embrace business development opportunities that come with the ongoing Beitbridge Border transformation project.

The Government is upgrading the border in partnership with Zimborders Consortium at a cost of US$300 million and already more than 1 000 people mostly women and youths  have been engaged.

On the other hand, Zimborders Consortium is outsourcing 40 percent of its raw material from local companies.

In an interview during a tour of the border modernisation civil works on Tuesday, Mr Java said there were a lot of investment opportunities in Beitbridge town awaiting exploitation.

“We have seen the massive transformation works around the Beitbridge town, and the border,” he said.

“So our plea as the AAG working with the Presidential Support Organisation Trust and the Young Women for Economic Development, we are encouraging the youths to be actively involved in these projects.

“We want them to get organised and get tenders to do a number of jobs including supplying raw material, construction and logistics among others.”

Mr Java also commended the Beitbridge Municipality for creating an enabling environment for investment in line with the town’s transformation into a medium city.

He said the land prices were very fair and hence youthful businesses should take up opportunities in property development.

The town has investment opportunities in infrastructure development, beef and related products, manufacturing, livestock production, retail, warehousing, packaging, accommodation, transport and logistics among others.

Already the local municipality has since availed 248 hectares of land to house projects under the Special Economic Zone concept, which includes heavy and light industries.

Beitbridge town clerk, Mr Loud Ramakgapola recently said they were engaging the Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority (ZIDA) to create a special purpose vehicle to promote investment in one of the country’s fastest-growing towns.

“We are still engaging with investors but the movement is slow and our intention is to engage with ZIDA to get the ball rolling,” he said.

“We are still engaging with investors but the movement is slow and our intention is to engage with ZIDA to get the ball rolling,” he said.

“The other issues that have slowed progress is the feasibility study which is outstanding and the special purpose vehicle between us and them (ZIDA), which should be finalised.”

In addition, the local authority recently resolved to among other things, expeditiously process business proposals from investors to reduce the red tape that was frustrating economic growth.

A representative for the Young Women for Economic Development, Ms Catherine Kawaza, said the improvement of operations at the border would contribute to the growth of most of their businesses which were cross-border related.

“We are happy that the border is getting a facelift and the local businesses are already getting business as the number of travellers through our town is gradually increasing,” she said.