THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development has embarked on a tour of key infrastructural developments projects in Matabeleland region with the view of getting an appreciation of the progress made so far and enhancing its oversight duties.
The legislators began their tour with the US$300 million Beitbridge Modernisation Project on Monday and are expected to visit Gwayi-Shangani Dam Construction/Pipeline today and wind up at Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion Project on Wednesday.
The massive projects are part of economic and developmental initiatives being spearheaded by the Second Republic across the country, which have created employment for local communities in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The major component of the projects underway in the border town include the modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post into a world class commercial hub.
In July 2018, President Mnangagwa presided over a ground-breaking ceremony at Beitbridge Border Post, ahead of its revamp.
Other ongoing works include the construction of water and sewer reticulation infrastructure and 220 houses for border staff, a new Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) depot, a fire station, an agriculture and animal quarantine facility, a new sewer oxidation dam and 11,4 megalitres water reservoir and the upgrading of a section of the Beitbridge-Harare Road.
The Beitbridge Border Post upgrade is being implemented through a public-private partnership arrangement with ZimBorders, and is the biggest investment for any city so far in the country.
Recently, some members of the committee said they have not toured the projects, particularly the Gwayi-Shangani and said visiting the projects would enhance their oversight role.
Committee chairperson, Dr Mathew Nyashanu, told Business Chronicle yesterday that the tours are key in exposing legislators to various ongoing national projects.
“As the committee, we feel the visits will accord legislators an opportunity to have an appreciation of national projects.
Therefore, we are touring Beitbridge Modernisation Project, Gwayi Shangani Dam and Water Pipeline Project and Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Expansion Project,” he said.
“More importantly, the tours will equip us in carrying out our oversight role as mandated by section 299 of the Constitution and its Standing Order number 20 from an informed position,” said Dr Nyashanu.
Hwange’s unit 7 is expected to be commissioned in November this year while Unit 8 is expected to be ready in February next year.
Work began in August 2018 following a groundbreaking ceremony by President Mnangagwa.
Hwange unit 7 and 8 expansion project is set to transform the country’s electricity generation dynamics and guarantee the nation energy sufficiency with an addition of 600MW from the two new coal-fired units.
The expansion project will go down as one of the greatest achievements under the Second Republic as it implements the National Development Strategy (NDS1) towards attaining aspirations of Vision 2030.
It is being carried out by the Zimbabwe Power Company for Government and Sino Hydro.
Upon completion, the project would address Bulawayo’s perennial water challenges by providing 450mega litres of water per day to residents, which is three times what the city requires.