Situated along the Masvingo – Beitbridge highway at the 148 kilometer peg is Rutenga Growth point. Vendors selling roasted mealies and cool drinks either side of the road and cluttered buildings in the business center which can be viewed while one passes by had done very little in terms of turning the economic fortunes of the Growth point. Regardless of the strategic location of Rutenga Growth point, which intersects travellors to the Sango border post as well as Beitbridge border post the strategic positioning for long, had failed to capture the attention of robust investment.
The name Rutenga, some believe was driven from the English phrase “Route anchor”. It is the positioning of the Growth Point which many believe should be exploited on, if the development of the Growth point is anything to go by. The upgrading of the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway is a positive development which adds more value to the strategic location of Rutenga. Robust planning therefore needs to be put in place in order for the Growth Point to tap on the nuggets at it’s disposal. A vibrant highway is a gateway to business opportunities. As such, the Growth point needs to be a competitive center of attraction. Upgrading and building of modern structures will serve to attract motorists to pull off for a rest before embarking on their journeys.
The construction of two filling stations in Rutenga along the highway trajects a bright future for the Growth Point. For years, Rutenga residents had been relying on the Lundi and Bubi filling stations which are about 20km away. Motorists who run out of fuel have no option other than filling up from the roadside fuel dealers. Fuel supplies at the CMED filling station which is in the business center is very unreliable.
The filling stations which are just along the highway are posed to give relief to motorists. An assessment of the structures still under construction shows that the filling stations would have supermarkets, offices and restrooms. Apart from employment creation the filling stations will facilitate the smooth flow of business in and around the Growth Point.
While the construction of the filling stations had brought smiles on many, it is the construction and functionality of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Dry port which is going to be a major game changer at the Growth Point. The Dry port will help to decongest Beitbridge Border Post and Sango Border Post during pick moments. The Dry Port is bound to make Rutenga a business hive. All the developments are posed to be regulated by this positive development. The dividends of the restructuring and rehabilitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe is another factor which brings fortunes on Rutenga Growth Point. The Rail station is an important player in the socio-economic transformation of Rutenga. The expansion of the station positively impacts on the business prospects of the Growth Point. Needless to mention that it is the Railway Station that gave birth to the Growth Point. The Railway Station remains pivotal in propelling the Growth point to a new era characterised by modernity.
Given the above developments, the future looks bright for Rutenga. Modernity is on the dawn.
Mashoko Cuthbert is a teacher at Rutenga Primary School with keen interest in development issues. He writes in his own capacity. https://masvingomirror.com