Beitbridge council offers 270 hectares for mega warehouses


MASVINGO – Beitbridge Town Council has offered 270 hectares of land for the establishment of mega warehouses in the country’s busiest border town, a business captain involved in the project, Solomon Matsa has said.

Matsa told Two Nations in an exclusive interview that the offer follows negotiations between the Business Economic Empowerment Forum (BEEF), the local authority and the Minister of Industry and Commerce Sekai Nzenza.
Matsa is the president of BEEF.

BEEF held a meeting with the local authority recently resulting in the identification of the land which is west of Naude quarry between Beitbridge-Bulawayo Highway and the railway line. BEEF is going to establish 20 mega warehouses.

The warehouses are a massive project meant to curtail illegal cross border movements into South Africa by providing convenience of shopping to thousands of Zimbabweans who cross the border on a daily basis to buy goods from SA. The warehouses, through a special arrangement with Government will bring in tax free goods into the border town.

Goods that are ordinarily imported from South Africa will be available in the warehouses, making it unnecessary for Zimbabweans to cross into South Africa. South Africa is the biggest exporting country to Zimbabwe providing goods as basic as food right up to industrial consumables.

“We have identified 270ha of land after engaging Beitbridge RDC. The local authority applauded our proposal and recommended that we officially apply for lease of land. The 270 ha piece of land is just outside Beitbridge town.
“BEEF also engaged the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Sekai Nzenza and Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) who stressed the need to engage Ministers of Finance and Transport as they have influence over our operations,” said Matsa.

Matsa said engaging Minister of Finance, Prof Mthuli Ncube and his Transport counterpart Joel Biggie Matiza will allow businesses operating in the special industrial zone to enjoy easy of doing business.

“Businesses operating in the special industrial zone will not be allowed to duplicate a project; that is if one is registered as an importer of food stuffs, their business will be limited to imported food stuffs.

“We want more business people to participate in this project because when more people make money production increases. Everyone has equal chances of participating in this project,” said Matsa.

Under the proposed project, warehouse owners import goods without paying tax and will then pay Government at least 2% of their sales and VAT after selling their products.

Matsa said the warehouse owners would be required to gazette their commodities in stock and their prices.
The prices will have a baseline after considering transport and warehousing costs which in turn entails the provision of cheap products nationwide while deterring people from illegally crossing the border into South Africa.

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