Second Republic changes face of Beitbridge

13 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Second Republic changes face of Beitbridge

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter

THE face of Beitbridge is changing as Government’s mega project to transform the border into a world class commercial hub is becoming a reality.

President Mnangagwa

In July 2018, President Mnangagwa presided over a ground-breaking ceremony at Beitbridge border post, ahead of its revamping at a cost of US$300 million in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

Other ongoing works include the construction of water and sewer reticulation infrastructure and 220 houses for border staff, a new Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) depot, a fire station, an agriculture and animal quarantine facility, a new sewer oxidation dam and 11,4 megalitres water reservoir and the upgrading of a section of the Beitbridge-Harare Road.

On Tuesday, the contractors started the process of floating the ceiling of the reservoir whose wall is 10 metres high.
Modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post is in line with the country’s Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle-income economy.

It is one of the key projects being undertaken by the Second Republic to promote the ease of doing business and trade facilitation.

Civil works are being rolled out in three phases with new terminals being built for each vehicle category.

New cargo scanning equipment are being installed to allow for faster inspection of cargo and detection of fraud, contraband and potential threats; explosives and radioactive materials among others.

Completion of the entire project will spur economic growth in terms of regional trade and development.

The Beitbridge Border Post upgrade being implemented through a public-private partnership arrangement with ZimBorders, is the biggest investment for any city so far in the country.

It is being upgraded through a 17-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement between the Government and ZimBorders Consortium.

The consortium is made up of a group of Zimbabweans, South Africans, international entrepreneurs, financial institutions and experts

Under the initiative, the Government is providing technical support while Zimborders through various financial institutions, is funding the project.

The Chronicle news crew visited some of the sites of the projects and observed tremendous progress.

Work on the construction of a dual carriageway from the border post to an intersection of the Bulawayo and Harare roads is on course.

A traffic circle has been constructed where the road branches to Bulawayo and Harare and priming is in progress.

A detour has been created to divert traffic from the construction zones.

Contractors said most of the civil works on the stretch are complete with the road expected to be opened to traffic at the end of May.

Construction of the VID depot and houses for border staff is progressing well with most of the structures at roof levels.

Some of the houses for the border staff have already been roofed.

The drill tower at the fire station is complete with the facility set to be handed over to council next month.

A drill tower is a facility that is used by firefighters for their routine exercises and training.

Beitbridge Town Clerk, Mr Loud Ramakgapola

Beitbridge town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapola said the ongoing projects in the border town has made Beitbridge one of the fastest growing towns in Zimbabwe.

“Once these projects are complete, they will definitely change the face of Beitbridge and transform the border town into a world class commercial hub.

We are humbled by this kind of investment by the Government and this has always been our dream model as a municipality,” he said.

“The ease of doing business when crossing the border will also attract both importers and exporters as well as increase business activity thereby creating employment opportunities.”

Mr Ramakgapola said the completion of the water reservoir is set to address perennial water challenges in the border town.

“Being a transit zone with commercial trucks carrying hazardous chemicals, Beitbridge is susceptible to fire outbreaks hence the need for a highly functional fire station.

Firefighting requires a reliable water supply and therefore the new fire station comes in handy.”

Mr Ramakgapola said they are working on equipping the fire station with adequate resources including manpower.

“We will soon be approaching both Zimborders and Government to assist us in terms of equipping the fire station.

We need an additional fire tender, an ambulance and at least a 20 000-litre water bowser,” he said.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister, Mike Madiro

Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Mike Madiro said the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post will increase the volume of traffic and improve efficiency in terms of the movement of travellers.

Beitbridge East MP Cde Albert Nguluvhe said the border post expansion project has also generated employment for locals and boosted the town’s economy.

Beitbridge East MP Cde Albert Nguluvhe

“The modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post has changed the face of Beitbridge and to us, it is a positive development for the local community and we have locals who are working for the contracted companies.

The project has also brought business to local entrepreneurs,” he said.

Cde Nguluvhe said the project is a clear testimony that the Second Republic under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa is committed to improving the lives of the people.

Beitbridge is one of busiest border posts in Africa, which does not only connect Zimbabwe and South Africa but also serves as the transit point for the majority of north-south trade in Southern Africa.

Zimborders Consortium, chief executive officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen

Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen this week told the Chronicle that they are on course to meet their target.

He said the first phase which includes the roads, freight terminal and upgrading of the ICT facilities is now complete.

“At the moment we are busy putting final touches to the bus terminal which falls under Phase 2 and will open for traffic on June 1. Decanting will commence this week as we start preparing to open it,” he said.

Mr Diedrechsen said construction works on Phase 3 will commence next month and is expected to be completed by November this year.


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