Govt okays Victoria Falls’ SEZ

22 Mar, 2023 - 10:03 0 Views
Govt okays Victoria Falls’ SEZ Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

THE Government has okayed the development of the Masuwe Special Economic Zone in the resort city of Victoria Falls by the Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company, which is expected to accelerate project implementation and promote tourism development in the greater Victoria Falls area.

Cabinet on Tuesday received and noted the update report on the Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company Feasibility Study on the Development of the Masuwe Special Economic Zone the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Nqobizitha Ndlovu.

Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company (MOTDC) is a special-purpose vehicle that was mandated to spearhead the construction of a conference facility that hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in 2013.

In August 2020, Cabinet broadened the mandate of the company to cover tourism infrastructure development in Victoria Falls.

“The company subsequently entered into a Joint Venture Partnership with Old Mutual Life Assurance Company for financing a Feasibility Study for the development of backbone infrastructure for the Masuwe Special Economic Zone, measuring 1 200 hectares. The feasibility study appraisal indicated that the development project is viable, with an acceptable profit margin of US$57 696 447.00 which is 15.5 percent and 18.2 percent of gross development value and development cost, respectively,” reads the latest Cabinet report.

The project implementation shall be rolled out in two phases.

“Phase One entails construction of bulk water supply systems for the entire Masuwe Special Economic Zone and development of internal water, sanitation, roads and storm water drains at an estimated total cost of US$120 million. Phase Two will witness the development of the remaining 930 hectares at approximately US$85 million. The overall estimated project implementation period is 24 months,” read the report.

Cabinet was also informed that Old Mutual Life Assurance Company will construct a four-star hotel with a 5 000-seater conference facility; medical tourism facilities; a golf estate and a shopping mall on land which Government will allocate. The project will comply with all relevant environmental statutes, including the use of solar to provide clean energy.

The Masuwe area has been declared a Special Economic Zone in order to ensure that the project raises funds for self-financing. A Master Plan will be developed in order to guide the implementation of the project. The Government will maintain a shareholding on every portion of the land earmarked for development projects in Victoria Falls.

@NyembeziMu

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