NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

‘B/Bridge upgrade to be complete by Nov 2022’

- BY REX MPHISA Follow us on Twitter @newsdayzim­babwe

THE US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post upgrade to a one-stop border facility should be complete by November next year, Finance and Economic Developmen­t minister Mthuli Ncube said yesterday.

Ncube was in Beitbridge yesterday to familiaris­e himself with the project.

Speaking to journalist­s after the tour, Ncube said there has been 100% increase in traffic volumes through Beitbridge, signifying increased trade in the region.

“This has resulted in increased workload for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) which I must say has worked hard to manage increased business.

“Forty percent growth in our business through Beitbridge is a direct result of Botswana closing its borders and a variety of strategies by Zimra carried the day” Ncube said.

He said business had doubled in the last 12 months. Zimra increased its staff at Beitbridge and in turn, lowered risk management to cope with increased workload, he said.

Ncube said his visit to Matabelela­nd South yesterday was threeprong­ed, to catch up with various devolution projects, understand Zimra traffic volumes and have an update of the Zimborders project of upgrading the border post.

“The border post is one of the biggest government investment­s in the region. There has never been such a huge investment here and this will create jobs for locals and its spillover will put pressure on its surroundin­gs to improve,” Ncube said.

He said the border post was a threephase project expected to be complete by November 2022.

“Imagine $300 million in a space of three years, that is a massive project” the minister added.

As part of the upgrade, Zimborders, who subcontrac­ted Raubex, will build 200 houses for Zimra staff.

Customs and Excise Department makes $150 million per day while the toll bridge raises large sums of money in foreign currency.

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