PRETORIA– The recent upgrade of the Beitbridge border post is set to significantly improve road traffic movement between South Africa and Zimbabwe, says the South Africa National Roads Limited (SANRAL), the South African parastatal responsible for the management, maintenance and development of the country’s national road network,
SANRAL spokesperson Vusi Mona said Thursday that the intention was to establish a one-stop border post at the transit point, which is South Africa’s primary road gateway into the rest of Africa. An estimated 15,000 people and 500 trucks cross the border at Beitbridge every day.
South Africa’s N1 national freeway connects Beitbridge with Limpopo Province and into the Gauteng Province economic core of South Africa. Just to the south of the border post, construction of the Musina Ring Road, a new eight-kilometre, single-way road, is nearing completion.
Mona said the upgraded border post will contribute to the better flow of people and goods within the southern African sub-region.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week conducted the ground-breaking ceremony in which a decision was taken to upgrade the border post and expand the infrastructure through a 240 million US dollars contract awarded to the Zimborders consortium.
The project includes upgrades to the roads to and from the crossing, perimeter fencing, gate controls, parking areas and upgrades to security and lighting systems.
The entire border post will fall under the jurisdiction of the newly established Border Management Agency. There are no plans to build another bridge as the existing New Limpopo Bridge has sufficient capacity to handle projected future traffic.
Mona said the new border arrangements would also enable SANRAL to collect toll monies on traffic travelling in a southerly direction from Beitbridge. The concession agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwe recently expired and toll fees are currently only collected on the Zimbabwe side of the border.
Should the government decide to introduce tolling on southbound traffic out of Zimbabwe, it will not add additional costs to travellers crossing the border and the funds collected will be used to maintain the roads and bridges at the border post.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK