JUST IN: US$382 000 required to flash Beitbridge sewer problems Mr Loud Ramakgapola

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

BEITBRIDGE Municipality requires a total of US$382 000 to fix sewer reticulation problems and enhance improved service delivery.

The border town has been on an expansion drive in terms of population growth and property development over the years.

However, this has not been matched with water and sewer reticulation infrastructure development as existing facilities were designed to cater for less than 3 000 properties more than a decade ago.

Currently, the town has over 70 000 residents with an estimated 16 000 properties and the numbers are growing rapidly daily.

Sewer blockages have become the order of the day in the western suburbs, especially, where the number of households linked to rural or urban to urban migration is increasing.

Beitbridge town clerk, Mr Loud Ramakgapola, said they were mobilising resources to address service delivery deficiencies.

“We have long-term plans to improve issues of service delivery and so far we need a total of US$382 000 so that we can be able to upgrade the current sewer reticulation facilities,” he said.

“We also need US$64 524 to procure an additional refuse compactor to enhance our capacity to deal with solid waste management”.

Mr Ramakgapola said a further $280 000 was needed to get a grader and that they intend to boost their fleet of earthmoving equipment.

The equipment, he said, will come in handy in servicing the road network and other infrastructure development projects.

Mr Ramakgapola said although they had made provisions to acquire some of the key equipment in their annual budget, the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely affected their revenue inflows.

“We are collecting only 20 percent of our targeted income from the ratepayers. This presents a challenging scenario considering that we have to offer quality services as an institution” he said.

Through the devolution concept the Government is driving at capacitating most local authorities countrywide to enhance service delivery initiatives.

The Treasury has recently released $2, 3 billion for the implementation of devolution projects in Matabeleland South province. The province’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Abednico Ncube, has made a plea to the Government to increase financial and material support to Beitbridge and Plumtree port towns.

He said the two towns were the worst affected by ever-increasing services delivery demands with more people moving in to settle there due to the proximity to South Africa and Botswana.

“Matabeleland South province has a unique challenge of housing provision. As you might be aware, the province has two major ports of entry, and Beitbridge being one of the busiest inland borders in Southern Africa,” he said.

“This scenario puts immense pressure on the provision of services, particularly housing and social amenities for the transit population.”

Among the 10 local authorities around the province, there is an excess of about 40 000 people on the waiting list for housing, shopping amenities, and industrial stands.

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