Nqobile Sibanda in Victoria Falls
STAKEHOLDERS who attended a recent planning meeting towards implementation of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Victoria Falls have recommended re-zoning of the resort town.
If adopted the move would likely see the industrial site being relocated to the proposed Ndlovu Satellite Town as part of measures to de-congest the town.
ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke called for collaboration among stakeholders in coming up with a combined master plan for the country’s prime resort destination.
“We also want to zone the town. This is an exercise where we decide what type of activity and development or project goes where. I call upon you all to move fast towards the success of the project,” he said.
Participants said once adopted, the re-zoning of Victoria Falls will see some sectors especially in the industrial area being relocated to Ndlovu Satellite Town, which is set to be built about 40km outside the resort town.
The initiative is being discussed in the context of opening up space for development of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) model and maintaining a tourism friendly environment. The proposed Ndlovu Town is expected to help ease congestion in Victoria Falls.
Participants also recommended that in terms of employment opportunities, a quota be retained for locals and that tour operators should take responsibility of human-wildlife conflict issues, resettling of communities that will likely be moved, preservation of animal corridors and national heritage sites among others.
Other facilities would also be moved to a convention centre whose construction is on the cards near Victoria Falls International Airport. This week a taskforce will be set up to spearhead the programme.
The meeting drew representation from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, tour operators, the private sector and other Government departments. Its aim was to gather stakeholder input into the implementation of the SEZ concept in the resort town.