Zimbabwe, South Africa to jointly develop Beitbridge, Musina

Zimbabwe, South Africa to jointly develop Beitbridge, Musina
Published: 14 March 2019 (250 Views)
President Mnangagwa cuts the ribbon during the official launch of the TelOne Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare fibre optic link in Beitbridge yesterday

THE Zimbabwean and South African governments have agreed to speed up the development of Beitbridge and Musina towns to enhance trade links with work expected to commence soon, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.

Speaking at the official launch of the $23,6 million Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare TelOne national backbone fibre optic link project at the border post, Mnangagwa said this was part of the agreements signed in Harare in the Tuesday Bi-National Commission summit where both governments committed to assist in the development of the two towns.

"You must count yourselves very lucky. The development of the two towns will be supported by both governments and we agreed to promote and improve Beitbridge on both sides," Mnangagwa said.

The optic fibre link was built at a cost of $98 million borrowed from China Eximbank, including local efforts by TelOne, Zimbabwe's fixed telecommunications network which also links Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia to international seabed cables in the Indian Ocean.

The fibre optic is expected to provide seamless networks with the world and cut internet bandwidth landing costs by 40%.

"My government, under the Second Republic, is determined to connect our nation speedily and equitably. We have presently prioritised the building and rehabilitation of roads throughout the country, however, we are equally cognisant of the need to build the infrastructure of tomorrow," Mnangagwa said.

He said the new development would complement efforts to speed up economic reforms through modernisation and industrialisation.

The optic fibre link was built by local engineers using technology from a Chinese company, Huawei.

"It will efficiently connect us to the rest of the world. It will further ensure an inclusive society, where all people can benefit from immense growth opportunities that are abound in all sectors," Mnangagwa said.

"Our infrastructure has for too long lagged behind, but we are determined to catch up with those who progressed ahead of us."

"In addition, the middle-income economy status we envision will be accelerated as a result of the digital socio-economic impact that cuts across financial services, health, retail, agriculture, mining, tourism and government."

He challenged Zimbabweans to move out of comfort zones, exit archaic ways of doing business and embrace the future by using technology.

He commended TelOne for its achievement and said it should link with progressive partners, being one of the parastatals government had demerged in order to privatise it.

Mnangagwa hailed China for availing loans for the country's infrastructure projects, saying the loan facility would enable the timely completion of the TelOne project.

China Eximbank has, over the past years, been extending loans to Zimbabwe, including the $150 million for the Victoria Falls Airport and $533 million for the Kariba South Power project.

The Asian bank is also extending loans for the construction of the $150 million Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and $1 billion for the Hwange Power project.

Chinese acting ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang said his country had a $60 billion development budget for African countries, including Zimbabwe.

He said his country's partnership with Zimbabwe would ensure that the country became the regional electricity, communications and transport hub.

"Already, we have spent $563 million for the Kariba expansion, increasing electricity output with 300 megawatts. We are involved in a $1 billion Hwange Thermal Power project to be complete in 42 months, which will increase Zimbabwe's power generation by not less than 600 megawatts to cover domestic and external demands. We will be helping Zimbabwe with the Batoka Gorge project to generate 1 200 megawatts, which will make Zimbabwe a regional hub for electricity," Zhao said

He encouraged Zimbabweans to be patient and support their government, saying the road to development was not easy and required unity and integrity.

TelOne managing director Chipo Mtasa said the other part of the Chinese loan was used for modernisation of data centres, among other ICT projects.

In another matter, Mnangagwa said he noted with concern that most schools in Beitbridge did not have science subjects and immediately instructed Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira to address the issue.

"I am not appealing to you, I am instructing you [Murwira] with your colleagues [Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul] Mavima to look into that issue now."

- NewsDay


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

'Dabengwa's mother was shot and left to rot for two days'

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 144 Views

Harare Council to shutdown water for 3 days

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 80 Views

DJ Tira jets in for Bulawayo show

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 72 Views

Zanu-PF mourns selfless hero Dr Dabengwa

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 96 Views

Bravo to Chamisa and team MDC

by Benny Gudo | 24 May 2019 | 116 Views

MDC disassociate itself from Chamisa

by Hon Webber Chinyadza | 24 May 2019 | 92 Views

Bulawayo City Council to stop collecting garbage

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 78 Views

Tough conditions for Zimbabwe fuel retailers

by Ndou Paul | 24 May 2019 | 75 Views

Dumiso Dabengwa a dissident that never was

by Don Chigumba | 24 May 2019 | 88 Views

Twitter defends Welshman Ncube

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 103 Views

Online bingo industry predictions

by Staff Writer | 24 May 2019 | 78 Views

Trevor Ncube angry at Colcom over pork pie

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 90 Views

Dr Dabengwa an undisputed war of liberation hero

by Njabulo | 24 May 2019 | 78 Views

The other side of Rhodesia’s education system

by Rejoice Ngwenya | 24 May 2019 | 85 Views

Gukurahundi issue to be addressed internally, says Mohadi

by Staff Reporter | 24 May 2019 | 72 Views

Ex-MDC Youth leader warns Chamisa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 77 Views

Thokozani Khupe prepares for extraordinary Congress

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 80 Views

Theresa May quits as UK prime minister

by Staff Reporter | 24 May 2019 | 151 Views

Dilemma of political emotions vs the Unity Accord of 1987

by D. Kamamba. | 24 May 2019 | 150 Views

Another Zimbabwean 'Beast' charms Sharks

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 143 Views

What Dabengwa said about Chiwenga and Perence Shiri

by Mandla Ndlovu | 24 May 2019 | 234 Views

Chiwenga, Zimbabwe army to boot out Mnangagwa through 'operation restore economy'

by Itai Mushekwe/Mary-Kate Kahari | 24 May 2019 | 254 Views

Dedication to Cde Dabengwa

by Iphithule Thembani KaMaphosa | 24 May 2019 | 122 Views

Devolution confusion - marginalised communities lose out

by MakhoPrecious Moyo | 24 May 2019 | 118 Views

'Hello Congress delegates! May I deeply kiss your conscience?'

by Nhlanhla Moses | 24 May 2019 | 166 Views

Political Reforms can UNITE Zimbabwe

by Darlington Nyambiya And Farai Maguwu | 24 May 2019 | 120 Views

Zanu-PF and the football connection

by AT Kadada | 24 May 2019 | 115 Views

A candle blown off from Chinehasha Village in Chiweshe

by Thomas Murisa | 24 May 2019 | 92 Views

Mthwakazi National Party pay tribute to Dr Dumiso Dabengwa!

by Mthwakazi National Party | 24 May 2019 | 76 Views

Zimbabwe EFF CIC's profile

by Zim EFF | 24 May 2019 | 153 Views

'Mining sector to reap from liberalised inter-bank rates'

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 113 Views

Another 'Beast' charms Sharks

by Staff reporter | 24 May 2019 | 112 Views