TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Felix Mhona, says the construction of staff accommodation will be completed early next year in the last leg of the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post.
The first phase focused on pre-commencement works while the second phase focused on internal border infrastructure development.
The third phase covers outside border infrastructure development.
“Work is underway for the completion of the staff accommodation, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023,” Mhona said at the end of the year strategic plan workshop in Bulawayo.
The modernisation of the border post by a consortium, ZimBorders, under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement has seen a serious improvement in the turnaround time at the border post to less than three hours from an average of 20 hours.
Under the BOT arrangement, the consortium will manage and maintain the infrastructure for more than 17 years in order to recoup the costs and also realise profit from its investment.
“The aim of the project was to improve border efficiency. With the completion of the project, the turnaround time at the border has improved to below three hours from an average of 20 hours,” Mhona said.
The completion of the border post project, Mhona said, would result in improved border efficiency systems at the proposed One-Stop-Border-Post between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Upon completion, the border is expected to carry fivefold its capacity of 600 000 travellers, 30 000 commercial trucks, 120 000 light vehicles and 15 000 buses monthly.
He said close to 13 109 km have been rehabilitated across the country. This however, has also been affected by various challenges such as the incessant rains, Mhona said.
“Some of the roads had to be redone and some still remain outstanding,” he said.
“We continue to urge the Ministry and its stakeholders to work towards strengthening mechanisms to ensure quality, durable and sustainable infrastructure.”