Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to spearhead the construction of two tourism border posts with South Africa as part of measures to enhance regional tourism.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni said sites have already been identified in Beitbridge and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will chair the committee.
He said one port will be constructed at Chituripasi area, some 156km east of Beitbridge town and the other at Shashe some 120km west of the main border post.
Under the new order, Chituripasi border post will create a passage for those accessing the Greater Limpopo Trans-frontier Conservation area, which is made up of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Shashe port will cater for tourists visiting the Greater Mapungubwe Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) to the west of Beitbridge town.
The Mapungubwe TFCA is made up of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.
“An inter-ministerial committee was created this week. We will soon be visiting the proposed sites to ascertain the immediate needs and map the way forward.
“The two countries have agreed on the two points. What is only left is for us to expedite the construction processes,” said Mguni.
Zimbabwe and South Africa agreed on the proposed sites in 2006 but an acute shortage of resources has resulted in the processes moving at a snail’s pace.
It is also understood that upon completion the two borders will help relieve the pressure at Beitbridge, which is the only inland port between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
So far South Africa and Botswana have opened Pont Drift tourism border for those accessing their components of the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA.
Mozambique and South Africa also opened tourism at Giriyondo in December 2005.
Business Chronicle is reliably informed that Government has so far graded a road leading to the proposed Shashe border, where a staff house for the department of immigration has been constructed.
Further, the Chituripasi site was cleared a few years ago though there is no meaningful work on the ground due to resource shortages.