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'Govt unlocks Beitbridge traffic gridlock'

by Staff reporter
24 Oct 2021 at 09:28hrs | Views
THE movement of commercial trucks during the day has reached a fairly acceptable rate at the Beitbridge Border Post after the government engaged clearing agents and runners to work night shifts so as to improve the traffic flow at night.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Mr Felix Mhona said yesterday that a Crisis Management Committee (CMC) was hard at work at Sadc's busiest inland port addressing all teething challenges to the flow of traffic.

He said the government was  fully committed to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement hence the refurbishment and modernization of the Beitbridge Border Post and the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge- Chirundu highway.

Minister Mhona said the recent challenges which were witnessed when the new Beitbridge Border Post Freight Terminal (BBPFT) was opened, have been a cause of concern as it hinders trade facilitation and movement of goods and people along the North-South corridor.

"The challenges are regrettable and the government is working flat out with its stakeholders to remedy the situation with the view to improve the situation at Beitbridge. As we are implementing measures to sustainably stem all the challenges at the border, our valued stakeholders must be pleased that the situation is normalizing.  The new BBPFT was opened to the public on 11 October 2021 and it is an integral component of the project to refurbish and upgrade the Beitbridge Border Post, born out of a concessionary agreement between the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Zimborders on a Build Operate and Transfer arrangement".

He said the Beitbridge modernization project was meant to improve border management systems. The Minister said the government had noted with concern that like any new project, migration from old systems to new ways of doing things usually comes with challenges He said Zimbabwe had managed to troubleshoot the issues relating to delays in the movement of freight cargo and was implementing some corrective measures.

"The congestion at the Beitbridge Border Post started a few weeks before the opening of the new freight terminal as a result of Covid-19 related relaxations on movement both on the Zimbabwean and South African sides of the border," said Minister Mhona.

He said as a result, the trucks piled up in the freight parking and by the time the freight terminal went live on Monday; the yard was packed and Zimborders had to kick-start operations dealing with an already congested border.

Source - The Sunday News
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