from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – VICTORIA Falls has intensified efforts to lure investors with the aim of developing infrastructure that matches its new status as a city.
The Zimbabwean government accorded the northwestern city that status in 2020.
It is a prime tourism destination and is home to one of the World’s Natural Wonders, the Victoria Falls, which draws thousands of tourists each year.
Victoria Falls City came up with a five-year strategic plan (2018-2022) in 2018 with attaining city status – one of the goals.
From 2018 to date, the city has witnessed development of a number of hotels and lodges worth a combined over US$100 million (R1, 6 billion) and continues to court investors for more hospitality infrastructure.
These include Mbano Manor Hotel, Palm River Hotel, Sawanga Mall, Three Monkeys Restaurant, KFC, Pariah State, OK Mart, Glow Petroleum, Comoil, and several others under construction.
Mayor Somveli Dlamini said the local authority offers two years tax free bonus to new land investors.
“As a city our call is based on the swift and efficient development proven by what we are witnessing,” he said.
“As a competitive local authority, we continue to offer investors serviced land and 24 months tax holiday on service charges during construction to allow a smooth implementation of projects.”
The city continues to promote projects that are invested locally and to facilitate trade.
Between 2018 and to date, the city has managed to attend nine trade shows locally and internationally to sell its products, mostly tourism.
Ngqabutho Moyo, the city’s economic development manager, said two projects worth more than $300 million await investors.
The council has come up with a mixed commercial use project worth $275 million.
Groundbreaking is set for next year.
“We have facilities, some of them dormant and we are looking for investors to come in and boost not only tourism but also all initiatives to make sure our people are employed,” Moyo said.
The mixed commercial use project has got a five-star hotel and conferencing facility.
All the property belongs to the local authority.
“The same applies to the tourism facilities projects worth $45 million,” Moyo said.
The city is also courting investors who can take up the $15 million water and sanitation project as the water and sewer system no longer matches developments that have taken place.
Victoria Falls’ growth has been tremendous.
The local authority was granted Local Board Status in 1965 before being declared a Town Council in 1971.
It upgraded into a municipality in 1999.
Victoria Falls is the heart of the Okavango and Zambezi basin known as Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA).
– CAJ News