Beitbridge border post upgrade improves efficiency

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Beitbridge (New Ziana) – LONG queues of both vehicular and human traffic are now outdated as the remodelled Beitbridge Border Post can process up to 1 000 freight trucks and 200 buses a day, following its multi-million-dollar upgrade, a Cabinet Minister said on Wednesday.

The US$300 million modernisation project, whose ground-breaking was presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018 is one of the flagship infrastructure rehabilitation projects implemented by the Second Republic.

The project involved the building of new and separate freight, buses and private vehicle terminals, the installation of latest cargo scanning equipment and feeder roads.

Speaking at the commissioning of some of the completed works at the border post by President Mnangagwa, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, said the fruition of the project marked a significant milestone in the life of the Second Republic.

“After its approval in December 2018, this was one of the inaugural projects to be implemented by the Second Republic,” he said.

“As a result of this upgrade, the border’s handling capacity per day now stands at 1 000 trucks of freight, 15 000 persons travelling on light vehicles and as pedestrians and 200 buses for passenger traffic.”

Mhona said the modernisation of infrastructure at the border post had also spurred developments in the broader area in the town.

“As you have witnessed from your aerial appreciation of the Beitbridge Border, the hectic town now resembles a construction zone. I am sure you have been dazzled and mesmerised by heavy machinery, excited teams on sites with their hard hats and reflector vests on, with only one goal of getting the work done.

“Works are not confined to the border post alone but transformation within the Beitbridge Town has spread tentacles to include housing, water reticulation and roads construction. The Ministry has also seen it fit to upgrade and dualise the 5 km of road from the border to the intersection of Masvingo and Bulawayo roads to complement the new border infrastructure,” he explained.

The border post, he said, was on a strategic location of the North – South corridor, and was the busiest regional transit link in Southern and Eastern Africa, connecting South Africa and Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Tanzania.

The upgrading of the border post was in line with National Development Strategy 1 targets of maintaining and repairing existing infrastructure and equipment, completing on-going and stalled projects, attracting FDI in infrastructure, up-scaling private sector investment in the provision of public infrastructure and designing and implementing climate proof and resilient infrastructure.

“Indeed, the behemoth project you are commissioning today is an embodiment of the NDS 1 strategies.”

The modernisation project is being implemented through a public-private partnership with ZimBorders consortium.

Other facilities still under construction include 220 housing units for government workers, a new fire station, an 11.4 megalitre water reservoir, and an agriculture and animal quarantine facility.
New Ziana

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