The ongoing works to modernise Beitbridge Border Post will enhance traffic separation address security challenges and pave way for the implementation of a one-stop border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, a senior government official has said.
In a recent interview, the Assistant Regional Immigration officer-in-charge of Beitbridge, Nqobile Ncube said the new port infrastructure had been designed to adapt to any traffic flow systems.
He said the border project was key in implementing the Border Efficiency Management System (BEAMS) pillar which is key to the implementation of the One-Stop-Border Post (OSBP) concept.
Ncube said it was pleasing to note that infrastructure was being constructed in a plan that is open to adaptability including accommodating the OSPB.
“The first goal of the border is traffic separation which is key to immigration, it creates ease profiling, ease processing, and an efficient way of administering people that go through the port of entry,” he said.
“When we major on traffic separation, we pay attention to the particular and specific needs of the specific group going through a specific terminal.
“For example, when the freight terminal is finished, we are likely to be dealing with truck drivers and the related industry which comes with its own characteristics and challenges”.
Ncube added; “When you are specifically dealing with freight needs, you are primed to understand the need to efficiently move commercial cargo which is critical in running regional economies”.
He said the same concept will apply to other terminals for buses, light motor vehicles, and pedestrians, which have different needs.
The official said upon completion of all the civil works, the major anticipation among most border stakeholders was that Beitbridge is going to be the most secure land border in SADC outside international airports.
Ncube said the new design would make sure that there is no unwarranted traffic or criminals operators within the border.
The Herald is reliably informed that infrastructure shortages on the Zimbabwean component of the border have been one of the sticking points to the 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 either country.
Before the latest investment of US$300 million into the border by the government and its partners, many travellers and transporters had were now using less busy borders to avoid the chaotic port of entry.
The border is currently carrying 1200 commercial-heavy duty trucks, 120 buses, 3500 light vehicles, 15 000 travellers daily and is expected to accommodate five-fold the same traffic when complete.
So far, US$65 million has been spent on the first phase which includes the construction of a commercial freight terminal, roads weighbridges, warehouse, and ICT facilities.
The outstanding works including the construction of buses’ and pedestrians’ terminals, 264 houses for border workers, new town reservoir tank, upgrading of town roads, sewer and water facilities and a new fire stations will be completed in the next coming year