Beitbridge border in for a major overhaul

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

South Africa and Zimbabwe have established a joint committee to work on improving operations at the Beitbridge border post.

Beitbridge is the busiest road border on the continent, with much of the goods and services between Zimbabwe and South Africa passing through this strategic point. During the peak of the festive season in 2016, over 31 000 travellers passed through the border daily.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma announced that a joint technical committee will be established with officials from SA and Zimbabwe to set up the Beitbridge One Stop Border Post (OSBP). The team will develop the necessary legal framework for this project.

South Africa and Zimbabwe held the second session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane.

President Zuma said it was necessary to bolster the efficiency of Beitbridge.  

“I wish to underscore the strategic significance of a One Stop Border Post at the Beitbridge border. This border post is the busiest border post on the continent.” A One Stop Border Post aims to improve the legal movement of people and commodities across borders. Currently, travellers are processed at two facilities of the two respective countries. A One Stop Border Post would result in seamless movement at the border, as travellers would be processed at one facility.

The establishment of the Beitbridge One Stop Border Post forms part of government’s implementation of the Single Border Management Agency. Last year, South Africa and Mozambique integrated the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post, also known as Komatipoort. 

President Jacob Zuma said Beitbridge is key to boosting the two countries' economies and as such, unnecessary delays at the border must be avoided. Zimbabwe is one of South Africa’s top five trading partners on the continent, with trade statistics showing annual growth. In 2016, South Africa’s exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R29.3 billion.

"It is important and urgent that we start in earnest the process of establishing a One Stop Border Post. Our two countries took a decision to do so as far back as 2009." 

President Zuma and President Mugabe urged the relevant ministers and officials to work speedily on the project. They want a progress report at the next BNC. - SAnews.gov.za 

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