By Thupeyo Muleya
Completion of the US$300 million Beitbridge border post modernisation project will speed up the roll out of the One-Stop border post concept between Zimbabwe and South Africa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has said.
Beitbridge Border Post is undergoing an extensive upgrade through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement between Government and Zimborders Consortium, a group of local and South African financiers who are funding the project. Prof Ncube told The Sunday Mail that traffic between the countries will increase five-fold upon completion of the upgrade.
A One-Stop border post allows for travellers and goods to be cleared at one point before passage into either country, as opposed to the current setup where clearance processes are duplicated on both ends.
In an interview after touring civil works at the border on Friday, Prof Ncube said Zimborders Consortium reached financial closure for the project in November last year.
“This is a massive investment that has been made possible through a Private Public Partnership,” he said.
“The private players have mobilised funding through various financial institutions, while the Government provided the necessary technical support and concessions.
The modernisation is being rolled out in three phases; pre-commencement works, internal border infrastructure development, and outside border infrastructure development. Prof Ncube said over 450 people will be employed to undertake the project, with 185 people having already been hired under the first phase.
The volume of humans and cargo will increase five-fold when the project is completed. An average of 500 000 travellers, 4 000 buses, 100 000 light vehicles, and 40 000 commercial trucks transit through the border post every month.
President Mnangagwa laid the foundation stone for the project in July 2018 and said the project would enhance the ease of doing business and further the Zimbabwe is Open for Business policy. The Sunday Mail