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Beitbridge modernisation to boost town's economy

by Staff reporter
23 Mar 2019 at 05:48hrs | Views
The US$241 million modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post is expected to boost the town's economic and infrastructure growth, President Mnangagwa has said. He said Zimbabwe and South Africa agreed at the just-ended Bi-National Commission (BNC) to modernise both components of the border to boost the two countries' trade and efficiency in the movement of cargo and human traffic.

The President said Beitbridge town was set for a massive growth due to economic opportunities that come with a modern border post. He made the remarks recently while commissioning the US$23,6 million national backbone fibre link which was constructed by TelOne in partnership with Huawei Technologies and funded by the China Exim Bank.

"We have just concluded our Bi-Nations Commission with South Africa. As a result of that, Zimbabwe and South Africa has agreed to promote and modernise Beitbridge Border Post on both sides," said President Mnangagwa.

"The prospects of Beitbridge are growing faster and there is support by both governments on either side of the border. You must, therefore, count yourselves lucky.

"We note with pride that the establishment of these fibre links has completed the connectivity of Zimbabwe with our neighbours, specifically South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, which makes Zimbabwe the hub of connectivity in SADC. "The link will also provide valid transit services that enable SADC members to be connected to the whole world through a robust fibre network."

The President has already laid the foundation of the border modernisation project which will also expedite the processes leading to the implementation of the One-Stop Border Post (OSPB) concept with South Africa. Inadequacies in infrastructure have been cited as some of the stumbling blocks to implementation of the OSPB. Civil works are now underway on Zimbabwe's component of the border following the completion of the designs by ZimBorders, which is implementing the initiative.

Beitbridge Town Clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola said: "The modernisation for Beitbridge comes at the right time when we have just been granted the Special Economic Zone status and we are working flat out to look for investors.

"We are the face of Zimbabwe and we are happy to see Government taking a keen interest in our town. We hope the modernisation will also help us realise our dream of a dryport status which will reinforce our status as the hub of transport logistics and the gateway to the north."

Upon completion, the modernisation project of the port of entry which handles 15 000 travellers , 1 500 light vehicles, 500 trucks and 100 buses daily, will have the capacity to handle about three times the current volume of human and vehicular traffic.

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Source - the herald