Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A NEWLY built hotel in Beitbridge worth thousands of dollars is set to boost tourism and economic development in the border town as well as create 50 new jobs.
The 30-roomed Zhove Leisure Park situated at Zhovhe dam, one of the 10 biggest water bodies in the country, is expected to open its doors to the public next week.
The hotel is located 75 kilometres west of the border town along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highway and is owned by Top Pick Investments.
Top Pick manager Mr Tisetso Sebata said they were in the middle of recruiting staff in preparation for the hotel’s opening.
“Construction work is almost complete and we have started recruiting staff for the hotel,” he said.
He said 80 percent of the employees will be locals drawn from different corners of Beitbridge district.
“We have 30 rooms, which can accommodate more than 100 people.
“In addition, we have two bigger conference rooms and a leisure centre to cater for various social and business meetings.”
Mr Sebata said the project started three years ago.
He said they will have boats for cruising and fishing expedition in the Zhovhe dam.
Mr Sebata said they were engaging nearby safaris to also introduce game drives for their visitors.
“You will note that hotels have been closing due to a number of issues in Beitbridge and we have decided to provide the missing link with a budget hotel.
“Our market is mainly non-governmental organisations, Government, international and local tourists, and other people who love fishing and game viewing,” he said.
Mr Sebata said besides the chalets, they had also created space for tented camps and a caravan park within their premises.
The hotel, he said was powered by electricity and a standby generator and they are mulling installing solar energy.
“We have a lot of fish in the dam that include cat fish, breams, tilapia among others. In the dam there are also hippopotamuses and crocodiles and an assortment of animals which live in the water,” said Mr Sebata.
Zhovhe dam is a reservoir on Umzingwane River with a capacity of 133 million cubic metres.
It supplies water to Beitbridge town and also to irrigation schemes.
Mr Sebata said they had already started a fish farming project in the dam with a view to enhance fishing expeditions.
He said they were producing 20 tonnes of fish from the dam monthly and were looking to double the figure by year end.
“We also have a model horticulture farm which will help augment our (hotel) supplies and cater for those who would want to research on irrigation farming in this semi-arid region,” said Mr Sebata.
The development comes shortly after the Government announced that it was reviving the 63- kilometre water canal to turn the area into a greenbelt through irrigation farming and also improving water supplies in Beitbridge.