Gumbo tours US$300 Beitbridge border project

Ellen Mlambo

BEITBRIDGE – The Minister of State for PresidentialAffairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring Government Programmes, Joram Gumbo this week toured and assessed the US$300m Beitbridge Border Post upgrade project.

He was accompanied during the tour onWednesday this week by the deputy director in his office Cletus Munhande, Zim Borders CEO Francois Diedrechsen, Beitbridge District Development Coordinator (DDC) Sikhangezile Mafu, Assistant Regional Immigration Officer- incharge of Beitbridge Nqobile Ncube and Senator Tambudzani Mohadi among other dignitaries. The project is expected to drastically reduce the time that travellers spend as they get cleared atone of Africa’s busiest inland port.

There will beincreased revenues for Government as the facilityoptimises efficiency and improves the ease of doing business.The construction work is being done by Zim Borders Consortium.

The project will see a major upgrade of the entire border post. There will be modernization of roads, boosting of ICT infrastructure, establishing a fire station, building residential buildings, sewerage dam, civil services and new water reservoirs. The upgrade is divided into three phases and so far the constructors are working on the second phase after completing the first phase.

The second phase will be completed in April next year.Phase 1 involved the construction of new terminal buildings, animal quarantine facility, weigh bridges, staff housing for border agencies and installation of scanners has been completed.The project is now into Phase 2 which involves the construction of a bus terminal, access roads and freight vehicle parking.The third and last phase involves outside border infrastructure development.

The project is being implemented under the Beitbridge Redevelopment Programme. Zim Borders Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Francois Diedrechsen said the whole project will be completed between 12 to 14 months.

“Phase one has been completed and we are now in phase two. What is outstanding now is the construction of a bus, pedestrian and vehicle terminal, offside works which include housing development, fire station, reservoir among other works and all of which will be completed in 12-14 months, “ said Diedrechsen.

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