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Brilliant architecture refreshes Zimbabwe's Beitbridge border

by Staff reporter
19 May 2022 at 01:34hrs | Views
A REFRESHING atmosphere greets a discerning traveller upon arrival at the new look Beitbridge Border Post, a world class facility whose upgrading under the Second Republic, has reached the final stage under the second phase of the project.

The unparalleled architecture at the border post, which encompasses custom designs featuring stunning granite walls embellished with turrets, towers and impressive chevron decorations resembling the iconic Great Zimbabwe Ruins, is a marvel.

In July 2018, President Mnangagwa presided over a ground-breaking ceremony at Beitbridge Border Post ahead of its revamp.

The modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post is in line with Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle-income economy, and is one of the key projects being undertaken by the Second Republic to promote the ease of doing business and trade facilitation.

Civil works are being rolled out in three phases with new terminals being built for each vehicle category. They include new vehicle parking areas and feeder roadways.

The first phase was confined to upgrading the buildings, warehouses, roads, installing new weigh-bridges and a new main freight terminal building.

The second and third phases will involve construction of new terminals for buses, light vehicles and pedestrians.

In an update yesterday, one of the companies contracted by the Government to spearhead the project, Raubex Group Limited said they were now in the final stages of phase two of the project, which include the construction of new bus terminals.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Mike Madiro said the completion of the entire project will spur economic growth in terms of regional trade and development.

"This is a world class one-stop shop facility that the Government under the Second Republic is implementing and we are on target to meet set deadlines. It will not only improve the ease of doing business, but also facilitate regional trade as well as reduce corruption since there would be very minimal human interface due to the high-tech facilities," he said.

Deputy Minister Madiro said the modernisation of the Beitbridge will increase the volume of traffic with service levels expected to be modernised in line with international standards.

"We are on target and the border project is one of the best facilities in the Sadc region. Already travellers using the border post have started experiencing one of the most efficient and effective services," he said.

"We have actually completed the first phase and the second phase, which is now in its final stages, is being rolled out."

Deputy Minister Madiro said the project will contribute to industrialisation as well as enhancing trade and Sadc regional integration.

"Where trucks could spend days before they are cleared, they are now spending a few hours if not minutes. Time is money and with this new facility, importers are now getting value for their money with the levies being charged justifiable considering the services they are getting out of that facility," he said.

"As the Second Republic under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, we are walking the talk in terms of infrastructural development and the ease of doing business.

The border project is a typical example of how business should be conducted in a convenient way."

Deputy Minister Madiro said the state-of-the-art project is going to be replicated in other border posts.

"That project has actually put the country in a competitive advantage and when the Beitbridge-Harare Road is completed it will actually complete the whole ecosystem in terms of business and trade," he said.

Deputy Minister Madiro said the upgrading and modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post will also speed up the implementation of the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) concept between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Under the OSBP travellers and cargo will be cleared once for entry and exit in both countries.

The Beitbridge Border Post upgrade being implemented through a public-private partnership arrangement with ZimBorders, is the biggest investment for any city so far in the country.

It is being upgraded through a 17-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement between the Government and ZimBorders Consortium.

Under the initiative, the Government is providing technical support while ZimBorders, through various financial institutions, is funding civil works.

Beitbridge town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapola said the ongoing projects in the border town has made Beitbridge one of the fastest growing towns in Zimbabwe.

"Once these projects are complete, they will definitely change the face of Beitbridge and transform the border town into a world class commercial hub," he said.

Beitbridge Residents Association spokesperson Mr Jabulani Makhado said modernisation of the border post has changed the face of the border town and will enhance the economic status of the town.

"As residents, we are grateful to the Government for modernising the Beitbridge Border, which will go a long way in addressing bottlenecks and ensure the ease of doing business as well as facilitating trade," he said.

"With a facility of this magnitude, there will be smooth movement of travellers since there is now a separation of traffic. This project will also improve the status of our town."

Mr Makhado said modernisation of the border has also created an opportunity for residents to benefit through improved water supply and sewer reticulation.

"Our town has for years been dogged by constant water shortages and we are optimistic that it will soon be a thing of the past since this project entails the construction of a water reservoir and treatment plant," he said.

Beitbridge is one of the busiest border posts in Africa and does not only connect Zimbabwe and South Africa, but also serves as the transit point for the majority of north-south trade in Southern Africa.

Source - The Chronicle