By Paul Nyathi
After years of pushing for it, it’s all joy for the Beitbrdge community after the town was finally granted the Municipal Status.
President Mnangagwa declared the Town Council to Municipal status in a Statutory Instrument through a Government Gazette published last Friday.
The status was attained after the border town’s huge growth in recent years and its strategic economic location.
The proclamation was made in terms of Section 4 (1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).
“And whereas by Section 12 (1) of the said Act, it is provided that in any proclamation establishing a council the President shall fix a date for the coming into being of the council, and whereas the Beitbridge Town Council has been consulted and whereas Section 11 (1) of the said Act has been complied with, and I consider it desirable to make this proclamation, now therefore, under and by virtue of the powers vested in the President as aforesaid, I do by this proclamation (a) abolish the Town Council of Beitbridge and Beitbridge Town Council and (b) establish a municipality in place of the said town of Beitbridge and (c) establish municipal council for the said municipality, which council shall come into being on the 9th of March 2018,” read the notice.
Beitbridge Town has an estimated population of 70 000 and a further 13 000 people in transit to and from South Africa pass through on a daily basis.
Beitbrdge has been the most developing town in Matabeleland South since attaining the Town Status in 2006.
Two years ago, Government appointed a commission led by Ms Erica Jones, a principal director in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, to look into the local authority’s request for municipal status.
The commission submitted its report to Government for final decision making such accorded the town the Municipal Status.