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Beitbridge modernisation charms Ramaphosa, Motsoaledi

by Staff reporter
06 Oct 2023 at 12:26hrs | Views
The significant transformation and modernization of the Zimbabwean side of the Beitbridge Border Post have impressed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has pledged to implement similar upgrades to facilitate the smooth flow of human and vehicular traffic, thereby promoting regional and international trade.

President Mnangagwa led President Ramaphosa on a tour of the recently transformed Beitbridge Border Post, where they discussed the logistics surrounding the construction of a third bridge across the Limpopo River. This initiative aims to enhance efficient border services.

Cabinet has already approved the proposed bridge project, with Zimbabwe committing to funding its construction from local resources. Currently, the Beitbridge Border Post handles a maximum of 25,000 travelers, 1,200 commercial trucks, 200 buses, and 2,000 light vehicles daily. The addition of a second road bridge aims to promote regional and international trade by facilitating the seamless flow of commercial cargo.

Technocrats in Zimbabwe are actively working on the necessary legal frameworks, feasibility studies, and political permissions for the project.

Following the upgrades, the Zimbabwean side of the border now boasts three terminals for freight, buses, and private cars/pedestrians. It is also automated and connects South Africa with several neighboring countries, including Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, the DRC, Malawi, and Tanzania.

Both presidents agreed to pursue the full implementation of the One-Stop Border Concept between the two countries to enhance ease of doing business. This visit followed their exchange of notes during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

President Ramaphosa expressed admiration for Zimbabwe's progress in modernizing the border post and pledged to emulate these developments on the South African side. He emphasized the importance of matching infrastructure development on both sides of the Limpopo River for the region's growth.

With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in mind, President Ramaphosa highlighted that infrastructure development, including the new bridge, will significantly boost trade in the region.

President Mnangagwa echoed the sentiment that Zimbabwe is committed to improving its infrastructure to facilitate regional and international trade.

The Zimbabwean government has initiated discussions with South Africa to secure landing rights for the construction of the proposed third bridge, which is intended to run parallel to the New Limpopo Bridge.

The Beitbridge Border Post, a historic crossing point between Zimbabwe and South Africa, has undergone a remarkable transformation to accommodate the increasing volume of trade and travelers between the two countries.

Both governments are investing in modernizing their respective border posts to facilitate trade and improve border efficiency. South Africa has approved plans to upgrade six major ports of entry, including the Beitbridge Border Post, to enhance cross-border trade and regional connectivity.

Source - The Chronicle