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Border modernisation spillover excites Beitbridge

by Staff reporter
10 Mar 2022 at 05:55hrs | Views
THE Zimborders Consortium that is modernising the Beitbridge Border Post at a cost of US$300 million is also constructing key infrastructure in the border town in line with its transformation into a medium city, an official has said.

In an interview yesterday, Beitbridge Town Clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola said they are excited with the spillover effects of the border modernisation project.

The Government is upgrading the country's business inland port of entry and exit under a 17 and half-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) concession with the Zimborders Consortium.

Some of the out-of-port civil works include the construction of 220 staff houses for border workers, a sewer oxidation dam, 11,4 megalitres reservoir, a fire station, a standard engineered landfill, an animal quarantine centre and a fire station which are at various stages of construction.

Mr Ramakgapola said the fire station and a landfill are critical facilities that the local authority had put on the cards for a long time.

The town's current landfill is not up to standard and it was put up over two decades ago. Presently, it is failing to cope with the town's accelerated growth.

"Besides the border post transformation, the project comes in with a lot of infrastructure development initiatives, some of them have been in our plans for a long time, but could not take off due to limited resources.

"Our sewer has been upgraded and we have a fire station that is coming up, the road network is being upgraded from the border post towards the major cities including Bulawayo and Harare.

"In addition, the Zimborders Consortium is also going to assist us to modernise our dumpsite in the west of the town, where we have already identified a site," he said.

He said the construction of a new 11,4 megalitres reservoir will boost the town's water supply capacity.

The town with an estimated population of 70 000 and another 13 000 in transit daily, requires at least 18 megalitres of water every day.

However, the existing storage facilities can only carry 10,4 megalitres, and according to the local authority's population growth projections, they need to increase the capacity to 54 megalitres enough for three days' supply.

"Previously people would spend more than two days here trying to access the border, but with the new look border post, the movement of vehicles and human traffic will be efficient.

"This is a positive development for us considering that our local economy is linked mainly to cross border-related activities," said Mr Ramakgapola.

He said there was a plan by the Zimborders to harvest water in Umzingwane River.

The official said the construction of a new fire station which was already underway, will boost the local authority's capacity to handle emergencies including fires, and road traffic accidents.

"The standard of buildings which are being put up at the border will set a bar of the nature of infrastructure we need investors to build in our town as we walk through the road to transformation," said Mr Ramakgapola.

Source - The Chronicle