Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe govt moves in on Beitbridge roads

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2023 at 07:26hrs | Views
TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona has said Government is working on a raft of measures to assist Beitbridge Municipality to repair and upgrade its major roads in line with the border and town's transformation initiative.

He said the border town should develop concurrently with the US$300 million-border transformation project that is being rolled out.

Minister Mhona said in an interview recently during a hand-over of infrastructure projects constructed by the Government in partnership with the Zimborders Consortium that they had started assessing roads that need urgent attention.

Already Government has completed constructing a 5km dual carriageway from the port of entry to major highways linking the town with Bulawayo and Harare.

He said they were engaging in a number of private-public-partnerships to speed up the implementation of key infrastructure development projects.

The minister said Government had also constructed a 11,4 mega litre-reservoir, 220 houses for civil servants, a new sewer oxidation dam as part of its efforts to change the face of Beitbridge.

The US$300 million project is set to be completed in June this year.

The massive infrastructure development initiative is being implemented on a 17-and-half-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) concession between the Zimborders Consortium and the Government.

Under the arrangement, the consortium will manage and maintain the infrastructure for the duration of the BOT, recouping most of its invested capital from border toll fees.

"As you have witnessed upon entering Beitbridge Town, the hectic town now resembles a construction zone," said the minister.

"Works are not confined to the border post alone but transformation within the Beitbridge Town which has spread tentacles to include housing, water reticulation and roads construction.

"We have also seen it fit to upgrade and dualise the 5km of road from the border to the intersection of Masvingo and Bulawayo roads to complement the new border infrastructure. We also attended to the aesthetic needs of the infrastructure by constructing an awesome round-about".

He said through various initiatives among them the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Program (ERRP) his ministry was committed to giving roads in the border town a new look.

The minister said a vehicle inspection depot outside the main port of entry is under construction and work is now at an advanced stage.

The project was awarded $1 billion by central Government this year.

"Having more weigh bridges will help us know the load transporters are putting on our roads and I am happy that we are finalising the construction of a new VID depot outside the main port of entry," said Minister Mhona.

"The weigh bridges will help control incoming and outgoing loads through Beitbridge. In addition, we have constructed an animal plant and quarantine centre which is an important component for trade facilitation on agriculture and livestock and animal related products".

Beitbridge Mayor, Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge welcomed the move by Government to help the local authority improve on service delivery related issues.

Beitbridge district development co-ordinator, Mrs Sikhangezile Mafu-Moyo said the whole of Government approach was an important vehicle to steer development.

"The fixing of roads, is great news to us as a community considering that some roads are in a bad state. It is good for the Central Government to assist wherever there are challenges at the lower tiers," she said.

"The whole of Government is needed for us to be able to reach our national target of smart cities that will lead us to an upper middle-income economy by the year 2030".

A resident of Vhembe view suburb, Ms Tsamelengi Nyagomo, commended Government for its rapid infrastructure development programmes that are underway in Beitbridge.

Source - The Chronicle