Toppick Investments, which has invested US$2,5 million in Makhado, Beitbridge, has approached the Government for authorisation to spruce up the district airstrip and introduce commercial flights between the border town, Victoria Falls and Harare.
The company’s director, Mrs. Saliwe Marema, said the initiative was part of their bigger plan to transform Beitbridge Town and contribute to the revival of the country’s tourism sector. The company has investment interests in accommodation, petroleum, integrated farming and mining.
Mrs. Marema said their plan was to make use of the existing airstrip on the east of Beitbridge town, which is being used for occasional light aircraft by the Government.
“We have since lodged our application with the relevant Government departments. Our plan is to have a hanger and rehabilitate the current airstrip in the town,” she said.
“Beitbridge is developing rapidly as a town and hence we want to invest in this critical service and contribute to Zimbabwe’s tourism development.”
Mrs. Marema said they already owned two private jets with a carrying capacity of 16 people and one helicopter they intend to use to service the Beitbridge to Victoria Falls, and Beitbridge to Harare routes. The business has mobilised enough capital to set up a hanger and for the requisite standard civil works at the airstrip, she said.
Mrs. Marema said they were also looking at investing in more on infrastructure development in the border town. The development comes a few months when the Government said it has started working on the processes leading to the construction of a state-of-the-art airport in Beitbridge. A team from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe has toured the site Makhavhane area, 20km north of the border town and is said to be now conducting relevant studies on the project.
It is proposed that the new airport will be constructed under the Build Operate and Transfer concept. Our Beitbridge Bureau understands that the new airport will serve as a dry port for international trade and that the 20 villagers could be displaced in the process and relocated to new homes to be built in line with Government policy.