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US$300m Beitbridge border upgrades come online

by Staff reporter
30 Aug 2022 at 06:31hrs | Views
MATABELELAND South is poised for major economic transformation with President Mnangagwa expected to visit the province tomorrow to commission some of the completed works under the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post modernisation and upgrade project.

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

The massive project is one of the key economic and developmental initiatives being spearheaded by the Second Republic across the country, which have created employment for more than 1  500 locals in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

The modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post is in line with Vision 2030, which seeks to attain an upper middle-income economy. 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.

It is one of the milestone projects being undertaken by the Second Republic to enhance the ease of doing business and trade facilitation for the whole region.

In July 2018, President Mnangagwa presided over a ground-breaking ceremony at Beitbridge Border Post, ahead of its revamp.
Other works include the construction of water and sewer reticulation infrastructure and 220 houses for border staff, a new Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) depot, a fire station, an agriculture and animal quarantine facility, a new sewer oxidation dam and 11,4 megalitres water reservoir and the upgrading of a section of the Beitbridge-Harare Road. According to the programme availed to Chronicle, the President will tour the new terminal buildings at the border post, the water reservoir, the fire station, housing units for Government workers, the agriculture and animal quarantine facility and the Beitbridge urban road dualisation project.

In an interview yesterday, Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Abedinico Ncube confirmed that President Mnangagwa will visit the province to commission completed projects under the Beitbridge Border Border Post modernisation and upgrade project.

"The President, His Excellency Dr ED Mnangagwa is coming to Matabeleland South to commission projects which have since been completed under the Beitbridge Border Post modernisation and upgrade project. The face of Beitbridge has completely changed from what it was and credit goes to the Second Republic under the stewardship of our leader President Mnangagwa," he said.

"The projects, which the President is set to commission on Wednesday include a water reservoir with capacity to hold more than 11 megalitres of water to supply the whole border town, the beautiful housing units for civil servants, the 6km dual carriageway from the border post to an intersection of the Bulawayo and Harare and the new terminals at the border among others."

The minister said the massive transformation of Beitbridge speaks to President Mnangagwa's developmental philosophy of "leaving no one and no place behind" in line with Vision 2030 aimed at transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy.

Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary, Ms Latiso Dlamini said its all systems go for President Mnangagwa's visit to the border town.

"As a province, we are looking forward to the President's visit. Last week, I visited Beitbridge to assess the state of affairs and the upgraded border post and it is quite amazing," she said.

Ms Dlamini said the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post has seen an increase in the volume of traffic and improved efficiency in terms of the movement of travellers.

"There has been an improvement in terms of the pace at which people are being served with minimal delays being experienced by travellers. I also visited the water reservoir, the housing units including the dual carriageway from the border post to the roads leading to Bulawayo and Harare roads and everything is on course," she said.

Ms Dlamini said the completion of the entire project will spur economic growth in terms of regional trade and development
"As a province, we are ready to host the President for the official opening of the projects under the ongoing Beitbridge modernisation and upgrade programme," she said.

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

The second and third phases involved the construction of new terminals for buses, light vehicles and pedestrians. New cargo scanning equipment has been installed to allow for faster inspection of cargo and detection of fraud, contraband and potential threats; explosives, radioactive materials, among others.

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

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

The consortium is made up of a group of Zimbabweans, South Africans, international entrepreneurs, financial institutions and experts.

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

Source - The Chronicle