Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Civil works on the $241 million Beitbridge modernisation projects have gathered momentum with the contractors indicating that they are on course to complete the project within three years.
ZimBorders is carrying out the project that is expected to run between 2019 and 2021.
The Herald understands that some of the civil works include the construction of more commercial customs offices, paving, and expansion of sewer and water reticulation facilities, separation of traffic, buses, light vehicles, tourists, commercial vehicles, and construction of a commercial bridge leading to South Africa, the upgrading of Beitbridge Municipality’s key infrastructure among others.
President Mnangagwa laid the foundation for the project in July last year and said the initiative was in line with enhancing the ease of doing business and Zimbabwe is Open for Business policy.
According to the project’s contacts manager, Mr Herkie Sandernbergh of Raubex Construction, which was subcontracted for civil works by ZimBorders, pre-commencement works have been completed.
He made the remarks during a familiarisation tour of the project by Beitbridge East legislator Cde Albert Nguluvhe yesterday.
“Currently, we are working on the separation of traffic,” said Mr Sandernbergh. “We are preparing for the festive season when the volume of both human and vehicular traffic reaches its peak. However, the main civil works will start from next year up to 2021 when the project will be com- pleted.
“At the moment, we want to alleviate the challenges mostly around congestion during peak periods. The whole idea now is to separate traffic lanes into buses, commercial, light vehicles and small commercial vehicles.
“To that end, we are busy constructing new parking lots and navigation routes to synchronise operations. Additionally, we are going to be attending to the border fence in line with international standards.”
Mr Sandernbergh said they were done with preliminary enabling works and had employed 74 locals and that next year they will hire between 300 and 400 people from Beitbridge. He said upon completion the area will be a modern commercial hub.
“In terms of construction, we have gone a long way and we have a clear and transparent way to hire people to create employment around Beitbridge,” he said.
“It’s a tight schedule, but judging on the work on the ground, we are right on course to meet our target. You will note that we are doing a lot of processes through the right channels to make this wonderful initiative a great success”.