By Thupeyo Muleya
Beitbridge Bureau — The upgrading and modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post will speed up the processes culminating in the implementation of the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) concept between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo has said.
This comes as the Government has already set in motion plans to roll out the implementation of OSBP concept with Zambia and South Africa
A technical team led by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is currently drafting the legal frameworks and the procedures manual.
Dr Gumbo was speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony at the border on Wednesday last week, where President Mnangagwa laid the foundation for commencement of civil works.
ZimBorders is carrying out the project that will modernise Beitbridge into a commercial hub at a cost of $241 million.
“The need for the modernisation and upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post has been an outstanding item in our development agenda,” said Dr Gumbo.
“This timely development will boost efficiency levels at the border and allow for further developments into the One Stop Border Post.
“Through competitive bidding, ZimBorders, managed to sail through the bidding process and Cabinet awarded the project to them in December 2017 subject to conditions, which needed to be negotiated and finalised.
“My ministry and other stakeholders, including Ministries of Finance, the SG’s office and the JV Unit, among others, then interrogated the proposal by ZimBorders and drafted a contract, which we have since signed. They (ZimBorders) have advised that they will work tirelessly to see the project through as promised, work on the post has started and will progress efficiently.”
The Herald is reliably informed that infrastructure shortages on the Zimbabwean component of the border has been one of the sticking point to implementation of the OSBP.
Under the One Stop Border Post travellers and cargo will be cleared once for entry/exit in both countries.
Currently, these are duplicating processes at both sides of the border to enter or exit the country.
“The upgrading of the border post will help improve the movement of people and cargo. Zimbabwe as will be appreciated is a landlocked county that requires efficient routes and entry points like this one, which will ensure that our exports and imports flow smoothly.
“This project is part of the North South Corridor and has been prioritised in Sadc-PIDA Acceleration Programme for Regional Corridor Development,” said Dr Gumbo.