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Beitbridge border modernisation on course

by Staff reporter
28 Feb 2022 at 05:21hrs | Views
The Zimborders Consortium, which is implementing the US$300 million modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post says it is well on course to complete civil works by end of November this year.

The modernisation is being rolled out as part of the New Dispensation's ease of doing business policy and Vision 2030.

Zimborders Consortium is funding and implementing the project on a 17,5-year concession to build, operate and then transfer with the Government providing technical support.

The works are being carried out in three phases, which include the freight terminal in phase 1, the buses terminal in phase 2, and the light vehicles terminal in phase 3.

Along with this are 220 staff houses for border post officers and upgrades to the Beitbridge water supply and sewage processing, plus a new fire station for the town.

Zimborders Consortium chief executive, Mr Francois Diedrechsen, said the consortium was now working on phase two after successfully completing the new freight terminal, which opened to traffic in October last year.

"We are now on phase 2 of the project and are on course to complete all civil works as scheduled," he said.

"Phase 2, which is the construction of a buses terminal will be completed on May 10 and we expect to officially open it to traffic on May 31.

"From there, we are moving to the third phase that includes the construction of a light vehicles terminal and the completion of out-of-port works. This will be done by the end of November this year".

Mr Diedrechsen said the rate of commercial trucks moving through the border had improved significantly following the opening of the new freight terminal.

The consortium had handed over the sewer oxidation dam to the Beitbridge Municipality as a way of upgrading its sewer reticulation facilities.

Other non-port works, he said, were at various stages of completion.

"The programme was scheduled in phases and planned before the Covid-19 pandemic so that traffic flow can continue irrespective of the construction happening. That is the reason the work was planned from the outset to be done in phases," said Mr Diedrechsen.

The volumes of commercial trucks through Beitbridge have also picked up over the last few weeks as transporters have returned to this route given the much-improved transit times.

Some of the out-of-port works include the construction of 220 houses for border workers, an animal quarantine facility, fire station, sewer oxidation dam, upgrading water infrastructure in the town, and the construction of a new water reservoir tank among others.

It is envisaged that the completion of the project will result in improved border efficiency system when under a modernised port of entry.

Upon completion, the border is expected to carry fivefold its current capacity of 600 000 travellers, 30 000 commercial trucks, 120 000 light vehicles, and 15 000 buses monthly.

Source - The Chronicle