‘Beitbridge upgrade to end in November’

A CIVIL engineering company, Zimborders Consortium, yesterday said the upgrading of Beitbridge Border Post to a world-class commercial hub was way ahead of schedule.

The border post is undergoing a US$300 million upgrade in a public-private partnership between the government and Zimborders Consortium.

The modernisation of the border post is in three phases, with phase one comprising re-commencement works, while phase two concentrates on internal border infrastructural development and outside border infrastructural development being considered under phase three.

“By November, all in-port works including phase three will be completed. Phase two should be done by May and in the first three weeks of that month we will be doing our trial run just like we did with the commercial side. The good thing is we are now familiar and it should be easier,” Zimborders chief executive officer Francois Diedrechsen told Southern Eye.

Phase one of the project was completed last year.

Under the project, new terminals will be built for each vehicle category including new vehicle parking areas and feeder roadways.

The upgrade will reduce queuing and processing delays through software upgrades to allow for automated queuing and payment for trucking companies.

“The third and final phase, which is the pedestrian and private motorists section, should be complete by November when all the construction of the port will be concluded,” Diedrechsen said.

As part of the deal, new houses will be built for the town of Beitbridge, as well as facilities for informal traders and other public amenities.

Once the project has been completed, it is expected to improve the country’s rating on the ease of doing business since there will be orderly movement of both cargo and vehicular traffic at the border post.

South Africa last month announced plans to upgrade its side of the border post to turn it into a one-stop border facility.

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