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Beitbridge modernisation project to begin

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2020 at 01:04hrs | Views
MAJOR civil works on the $241 million Beitbridge modernisation project are expected to begin next month with the contractors indicating having covered a lot of ground on the pre-work commencement logistics.

ZimBorders is carrying out the project that is expected to be fully implemented under three years, with initial works having begun last year.

The project's contracts manager Mr Herkie Sandernbergh, of Raubex Construction, said during a tour of infrastructure development projects in Beitbridge on Wednesday by the secretary for Local Government and Public Works, Mr Zvinechimwe Churu they were on course to complete the civil works under set timeline.

He said the modernisation programme was being rolled out in three phases among them; pre-commencement works (phase 1), internal border infrastructure development (phase 2) and outside border infrastructure development (phase 3).

"At the moment, our team is finalising the bank logistical issues and the designs and plans are already in place," said Mr Sandernbergh.

"We have done some pre-commencement and minor works and the main civil works will start next month.  "The initial stage was to minimise the challenges of accommodation of vehicular traffic during peak periods.

"Basically, we are separating traffic into buses, commercial, light vehicles and small commercial vehicles. Soon we're moving from a transition stage to the upgrading of the current immigration terminal and other key infrastructure".

He continued, "We are busy working out a plan to divert traffic through the export section, so that we may have access to carry out civil work on the main immigration terminal".

The official said upon completion the area will be a modern commercial hub of choice in the Sadc region.

Mr Sandernbergh said some buildings will be demolished while others were set for upgrading to fit into the modernisation framework. He said resources had been fully mobilised for the project.

"We have a tight deadline of 24 months now, to complete this project and judging from the stages we have covered, we are definitely going to meet our target," said the official.

Business Chronicle understands that the main aim of the border upgrading project is to reduce the time people and cargo freight spend at the port of entry.

In addition, it is also envisaged that the volume of human and cargo will increase five times when the project is completed. Currently, an average of 200 000 travellers, 30 000 buses, 100 000 light vehicles, 35 000 commercial trucks use the border post monthly.

It is reported that some of the civil works which fall under the programme include the construction of more commercial customs offices, paving, and expansion of sewer and water reticulation facilities.

Other works are; separation of traffic into buses, light vehicles, tourists, commercial vehicles, and construction of a commercial bridge to link with South Africa, the upgrading of Beitbridge Municipality's key infrastructure among others.

In July 2018, President Mnangagwa laid the foundation stone for the project's take off and said the initiative was in line with enhancing the ease of doing business and further the Government's "Zimbabwe is open for business" agenda.

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Source - the herald