Govt provides $9,3m for Beitbridge Border Post facelift

South African authorities are allegedly retaliating after Zimbabwe banned the importation of some goods

TREASURY has injected $9,3 million towards upgrading Beitbridge Border Post to give it a facelift and improve service delivery, as part of government’s 100-day rapid results programme.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Finance and Economic Development secretary, Willard Manungo confirmed the development during a tour of the border post yesterday.

“We have released $9,3 million. It is for the immediate upgrading as a stop-gap measure. We have gone round the border post to see the areas we have to attend to now,” he said.

“We will pave and create routes to separate traffic. We need an area for small cars, buses and haulage trucks. There are sections we have to widen and we need to erect demarcations for crowd control in the customs and immigration halls.”

Beitbridge, Manungo said, is important because it handles the bulk of Zimbabwe’s imports and exports.

“About 30% of the government’s revenue comes from customs and taxes, hence, the need to pay attention to Beitbridge. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is the anchor of the bulk of the resources to support national development.

“Our 2018 budget looks at that and I have come here to identify the areas we want to take care of urgently at customs, which is an arm of Zimra,” he said.

Manungo said in December, Beitbridge raked in about $40 million for the country, amid indications it could generate more revenue if proper systems are put in place.

Scores of transit hauliers destined for Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have of late been sidestepping Zimbabwe because of delays at Beitbridge Border Post.

Others complained that their trucks are subjected to numerous searches by different stakeholders, some who duplicate roles.
Manungo said they had delegated the Department of Customs and Excise to co-ordinate activities at the border post, to ensure the harmonised clearance of goods and people passing through.

“Customs will be the lead agent and all the searches on trucks will be harmonised and transparent. We are aware truckers have complained about this and we must make their business easy and not make their passage through here cumbersome.”

Manungo said the customs Asycuda online system, which collapsed in December, will be upgraded and should be fully functional by March.

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