Home » Governance » Beitbridge Upgrade to Cost U.S.$100 Million

Government requires about $100 million to upgrade the Beitbridge border post to international standards, a senior Government official has said. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is going to release funding to raise the country’s international competitiveness through aancements in border infrastructure. The project also includes the implementation of measures to strengthen the collaboration between South Africa Revenue Service and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority through the harmonisation of customs systems and procedures at Beitbridge.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said upgrading of the Beitbridge border post requires huge capital injection and Government is working towards engaging different financial institutions to fund the project.

“Beitbridge being the busiest entry point in Southern Africa continues to be a major bottleneck to the smooth flow of traffic, both goods and people due to inadequate facilities.

“However, upgrading of the infrastructure at the border post is estimated to cost about $100 million,” said Minister Chinamasa.

The redevelopment of Beitbridge will encompass the upgrading of the road network to and from the bridge, perimeter fencing and gate control infrastructure, parking areas, commercial centre, staff accommodation, weighbridge, upgrading the communication and security systems, lighting systems, computerisation of the border post and construction of a new bridge among others.

Minister Chinamasa said implementation of these projects will go a long way towards actualising some of the objectives of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation which includes infrastructure rehabilitation and development, employment creation and poverty eradication.

“Our economy is currently facing enormous challenges including tight liquidity conditions, declining production levels, limited lines of credit, high cost of capital and rising formal unemployment,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said there is urgent need for refurbishments and upgrading of the country’s border posts, rail and road infrastructure for the country to be up to date with world economic trends.

Minister Chinamasa said National Railways of Zimbabwe with financial support from Development Bank of South Africa conducted a study in 2012 which concluded that NRZ required priority investment of $442 million in the short term and $1,9 billion in the long run to rehabilitate and upgrade the railway network, signalling communications equipment as well as to acquire rolling stock.

He said various programmes and projects outlined in Zim-Asset require financing to the tune of $27 billion of which the infrastructure and utilities cluster will absorb the bulk of it, $14,4 billion.

The continued failure by local authorities to provide adequate and clean water exposes residents to health risks whilst militating against economic development hence need for an upgrade in the water sector as well.

Source : The Herald