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Zimborders completes private cars terminal

by Staff reporter
09 Dec 2022 at 05:10hrs | Views
The third terminal at Beitbridge Border Post, the one for light vehicles and pedestrians, has been completed as the Zimborders Consortium upgrading the post in a private-public-partnership with Government at a cost of US$300 million nears completion.

Traffic was separated into commercial, buses and light vehicles to enhance efficiency and management systems which also come with a massive automation of operations, which both speed progress and make a lot of corruption impossible.

Previously all traffic was being handled at one building with the use of manual systems which would often cause delays in the movement of cargo of between 24 and 72 hours.

Now commercial traffic is spending less than three hours and human traffic spending less than 20 minutes to pass through the border post. Crossing the frontier is no longer a big deal, especially if you are honest and just want to be checked out as move.

Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer Mr Francois Diedrechsen said civil works that started in January last year had been planned in three phases to ensure that there was continuity in terms of traffic flow. The freight terminal opened to traffic in October last year while the bus terminal opened for business in June this year. "We have officially opened the light vehicles and pedestrians' terminals which is now operating smoothly," said Mr Diedrechsen.

"All other in-port and out-of-port works have been completed except for the housing development which is scheduled to be completed mid-March slightly ahead of schedule."

He said travellers should expect to experience the best experience as they pass through the border this festive season. The separation of traffic ensures that the travellers get customised services depending with their needs at all the three terminals.

Zimborders were already working with other border agencies to ensure a smooth flow of an anticipated increased traffic through a new look border post.

"The new light vehicles terminal can comfortably accommodate approximately 2400 vehicles a day (total for both directions), even though historically and current volumes are less than half that," he said.

"You will note that we have already started experiencing holiday non-commercial traffic picking up and as Zimborders working together with Zimra and the other border agencies have implemented various ongoing and emergency programs for the festive season so as to keep traffic flowing smoothly during the busy time."

Systems would be reviewed depending on the situation on the ground.

Mr Diedrechsen said although traffic was peaking, they were able to handle it because of the new traffic separation system.

The remaking of the border post including out-of-port works, is still on track to be completed within the deadlines.

The out-of-port works include the construction of a staff village for border workers with 220 houses and flats, an 11,4 mega-litres water reservoir, a new fire station, an animal plant and quarantine facility, and a sewer oxidation dam.

The fire station and the sewer oxidation dam and reservoir have been completed while the animal quarantine will be completed at the end of this month and the housing will be ready for occupation in March next year.

The consortium's general manager, Mr Nqobile Ncube, said in a recent interview that the border post was being transformed under three main pillars which include the separation of traffic, automation, and building efficiencies.

"There was a need to create traffic separation. You will recall that in the old border setup, all stakeholders were piled up in one hall," he said.

"This includes commercial traffic, ordinary travel, buses, light vehicles, and tourists.

Despite your different needs you would be lumped in one setup and be treated in the same way. That created a problem in services delivery".

Regional Immigration Officer in-charge of Beitbridge Mr Joshua Chibundu said they had adequately prepared to handle an influx in traffic.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is reportedly working on beefing up its staff ahead of the festive season at Beitbridge.

Source - The Herald