There is need for the urgent upgrade of communication facilities in Beitbridge as most people are relying on foreign cellular network providers, an official has said.
Mr Jahson Mugodzwa, the assistant district administrator for Beitbridge, called for urgent action, saying an estimated 100 000 people in the district were relying on South Africa and Botswana. Speaking during a feedback dinner hosted by mobile phone service provider, Econet Wireless on Friday evening, Mr Mugodzwa said the state of affairs affected the monitoring of strategic Government projects. He said his office had started paying traditional leaders’ allowances through EcoCash, a mobile phone cash facility provided by Econet.
“These traditional leaders and other members of the community are forced to travel for over 100 kilometres to access the facility in the border town,” said Mr Mugodzwa. “They can easily get the money if their respect network is rolled out to all the underlying areas.
“Some of the affected areas include, Zezani, Shashe, Jalukanga, Tshikwalakwala, Tuli, Toporo, Hwunga and Malibeng. If there was network in those areas, it would also be easy to monitor Government projects, including irrigation schemes and monitoring of cattle diseases and problem animals.”
Econet’s chief customer experience officer Mr Otis Makahamadze said they were working on improving the network coverage through the soon-to-be-introduced optic fibre link.
He said they had also increased the number of base stations around the district.
“Currently, we have an ongoing infrastructure development programme and we are hopeful that some of these challenges will be addressed,” he said.
Beitbridge town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapola invited mobile phone service providers to invest in infrastructural development in the town.
Beitbridge West Constituency legislator Mrs Metrine Mudau said recently that the communication challenges in the district had been worsened by the vandalism of fixed telephone lines.
Radio and television facilities cover only a radius of 80 kilometres from the border town. Those outside that region depend mostly on South Africa.
Source: The Herald