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Monday, June 5, 2023

Stakeholders hail Beitbridge border modernisation

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

The government has been showered with praise for modernising the Beitbridge Border Post, which has reduced the time of clearing cargo from days to hours.

The Beitbridge Border Post Upgrade, whose ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018, is one of the leading infrastructure development projects implemented by the Second Republic.

The modernisation of the border post has excited various stakeholders, including regional truck drivers who pass through the port of entry on a daily basis.

A traveller told the ZBC News, “It now takes two to three hours to be cleared here.”

“We appreciate we now have a dedicated lane for us this spending less time here,” another said.

Clearing and forwarding agents weighed in saying the modernised border post will facilitate and improve trade in the region.

President of the Federation of Clearing and Forwarding Associations of Southern Africa, Mr Desderio Fernados said, “Our drive as the private sector has always been trade facilitation, easy to do business and we always welcome any government institution which creates infrastructures or improves infrastructures which facilitate trade. One of the positive outcomes of this will be that there will be quicker movement of people and cargo and that automatically should in principle have a positive impact in terms of reduction of cost for the products to the end consumer.”

Mr Cleopas Manyepwa, a representative of the Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe noted, “What has happened now is that the clear paths of movement within the border post have been clearly defined, which is very good. It’s easy now one can clearly see and know where they should go whether they are commercial or they are people, buses, motor vehicles, they know what to do, they are very simple, which is very good. This will also curb issues of smuggling and others. This will go a long way in terms of our image as a country and our processes and even the morale of all the stakeholders at the border will be high.”

In the past, queues of vehicles and human traffic were a common sight at the port of entry, but the modernised Border Post is now facilitating the passage of more than 1 000 freight trucks and 200 buses per day, after its multi-million-dollar upgrade.

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