Work on 20-year masterplan begins

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Work on 20-year masterplan begins 
Mr Ramakgapola

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

THE Beitbridge Municipality has begun a process of engaging local stakeholders for a master plan that will guide development and service delivery in the town over the next 15 to 20 years.

The move is a response to President Mnangagwa’s “Call to Action” concept, under which the standard of service delivery by local authorities should reflect a standard upper-middle-income economy.

Outlined concerns include revenue collection and distribution, compliance with laws, and the leasing and selling of land by local authorities in servitudes.

It also includes leasing and selling of communal and agricultural land by local authorities as well as valuation of properties for rating purposes.

In an interview, Beitbridge town clerk, Mr Loud Ramakgapola, said they had since met a consultant, their staff members, councillors and local stakeholders to unpack their plans.

“We have hit the ground running in terms of fully implementing the Call to Action Plan which was launched by President Mnangagwa in November last year,” said Mr Ramakgapola.

“We engaged a consultant led by Professor Joseph Kamuzhanje to help us with our plans and are already working on the town’s masterplan.

“We held a very fruitful inception meeting with various stakeholders to unpack our strategy which includes the drafting of the town’s masterplan.”

He said the community and council needed to have a shared vision that would translate into improved service delivery.

“We aim to wrap up the whole process by the end of June this year. This is a very important document for us and hence we want to carry everyone along.

“It is pleasing to note that we had a full house and stakeholders from the Beitbridge Rural District Council, with whom we share boundaries on the east, north and west of the town.

As the town grows it will eat into the RDC area and we are, therefore, going to hold another sensitisation meeting with communities living closer and around the town. This will ensure that we have meaningful development with less or no conflicts at all,” said Mr Ramakgapola.

He said one major concern highlighted during the launch of the Call to Action was unplanned development.

It was important, Mr Ramakgapola said, for the town council and Beitbridge RDC to continue working together through several joint committees in addressing development and service delivery challenges.

Under the Call for Action concept, the modernisation and renewal of local authorities will be a two-fold approach.

First will be the implementation and/or improvement in corporate governance, organisational capacity and systems to lay a base for a modernisation and renewal programme.

The second stage includes the designing and implementation of a plan for each local authority to achieve renewal and modernisation to a level consistent with the 2030 upper-middle-income economy vision.

President Mnangagwa has already directed the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to work with the Public Service Commission and Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development to ensure immediate implementation of the measures.