Beitbridge residents have applauded Government for availing more than $14 million to resuscitate infrastructure in the border town. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Cde Patrick Chinamasa announced during his 2018 National Budget presentation that infrastructure development was critical in modernising the border post.
He said the upgrading of the border post would address issues of congestion and delays at the port of entry, which have seen Government losing potential revenue annually.
A customs official said accommodation for civil servants would attract more skilled workers to Beitbridge. Most Government departments are operating with low-level staff due to accommodation shortages. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is operating with 327 officers against a requirement of 436, while the Department of Immigration is operating with 46 staffers against an establishment of 100.Assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Notius Tarisai said the development was welcome to ease perennial infrastructural challenges.
“It is also critical for Government to construct more service points in the border town to separate traffic and enhance speedy clearance processes,” he said. Beitbridge Town Council spokesperson Raniel Ndou said an organised border post came with more economic opportunities for the town.
“Other than ensuring a smooth flow of travellers, local businesses, including hotels and tourism, will benefit from the increased traffic volumes,” he said. Beitbridge Business Association chairperson Nkululeko Milidi said the border upgrade programme created a lot of business opportunities for their members.
“Construction works will create opportunities for some of our members and employment for the local residents. A modern and organised port of entry is a good conduit for international trade and we are looking forward to the success of the project,” he said.