GOVERNMENT says it is determined to modernise all the country’s border posts to solve the acute shortage of infrastructure as well as increase efficiency.
Speaking at the handover-takeover of the Beitbridge staff village, reservoir and fire station, Transport and Infrastructure minister Felix Mhona said the Beitbridge Border Post was chosen as a trailblazer and pioneer project of upgrading and modernising the country’s borders.
“The Beitbridge Border Post was chosen to be a trailblazer and pioneer project of upgrading and modernising our borders, including a flourishing housing facility, which we are launching today,” Mhona said.
“Government took a position to modernise the Beitbridge Border Post which was facing a myriad of problems. One of the problems was the acute shortage of infrastructure, including decent housing for workers of State and quasi-State agencies working at the border.
“Beitbridge Town has its fair share of accommodation challenges due to the fast-growing population. Owing to these challenges, border agencies have been deploying less than optimum staff leading to reduced efficiency.”
The upgrading of the border post started in 2017 when he assumed office.
Government awarded a local company, Zimborders, the tender to upgrade the region's busiest port of entry at a cost of US$300 million, funded by South African merchant banks.
“The housing challenges had a negative effect of disenfranchising workers, thus leading to poor work ethics and other unfavourable vices,” Mhona noted.
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It is expected that after the completion of the modernisation project, the border post will cater for five times its present traffic to an anticipated monthly capacity of 600 000 passengers, 30 000 commercial trucks, 15 000 buses and 120 000 light vehicles.
Upgrading the border post saw the construction of 220 new government workers housing units, a fire station and a massive water storage and distribution facility with a capacity to supply up to a 40 kilometre radius.
The housing units are part of the Build Operate Transfer model, within the framework of a Concession Agreement, signed in 2018 between the Government of Zimbabwe and Andalusia Investments (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Zimborders Consortium.
Under the agreement, Zimborders shall operate the border infrastructure for the next 17 and a half years, and then transfer it to government.
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