GOVERNMENT has announced that starting December 1, all commercial vehicles passing through Beitbridge Border Post will be required to pay border access fees in either US dollars or South African rand.
According to Statutory Instrument 192 of 2022, the new regulation will apply to both foreign and local registered vehicles.
The Government and the ZimBorders Consortium is transforming the border post under a 17-and-a-half-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) concession.
As part of the agreement, the consortium is providing funding of US$300 million to modernise the border post while the Government is providing technical support and the land.
In addition, the consortium will recoup its investment through the collection of toll fees and manage the infrastructure for the duration of the concession.
Thereafter, the Government will take full ownership of the infrastructure.
In a statement, ZimBorders said local currency will no longer be accepted following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 192 of 2022 by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
“We would like to take this opportunity to advise our customers, as per revised Statutory Instrument published on 11 November 2022, the Zimbabwe dollar will no longer be accepted as the currency of receipt, irrespective of vehicle country registration. This will come into effect the 1st of December 2022, and request that you please make the necessary arrangements to ensure you are not inconvenienced at the border,” reads a statement.
The Zimborders Consortium
The latest SI repeals part of the Statutory Instrument 127 of 2020 subsection (1) to make it mandatory for any person in charge of/or driving a commercial vehicle passing through the Beitbridge Border Post to pay fees foreign currency.
“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development has, in terms of section 6 of the Toll Roads Act (Chapter 13:13) hereby made the following regulations; these regulations may be cited as the Toll Roads (Beitbridge Border Post Modernisation Project) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (No.1),” read the SI.
“The Toll Roads (Beitbridge Border Post Modernisation Project) Regulations, 2022, issued in Statutory Instrument 127 of 2020, are amended in section 5 (“Amount and collection of project toll) – (a) by repeal of subsection (1). Subject to section 6, any person in charge of or driving a commercial vehicle passing through the Beitbridge Border Customs Area shall pay the project toll at the designated office of the Beitbridge Border Customs Area exclusively in USD or South African rand, as specified in the schedule, (b) by the repeal of subsection (2).”
THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
Upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post, which is almost complete, is expected to end the bottlenecks that were previously experienced in the movement of people and cargo at the country’s busiest port of entry.
The bottlenecks also created security challenges, as they enabled the smuggling of both humans and goods across the border.
Besides traffic between Zimbabwe and South Africa, the Beitbridge Border Post also serves as a transit point for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.
To address the challenges at the border post, the Second Republic entered into the private-public partnership with ZimBorders Consortium, which secured funding for the upgrading and modernisation project.
The Beitbridge Border Post upgrade and modernisation project is being carried out in three phases, with Phases 1 and 2 – the freight and bus terminal having been completed.
The last phase is the construction of a light vehicles’ terminal and out-of-port works, which include 220 houses for border staff, a sewer oxidation dam, a fire station, an animal plant and quarantine, roads, and a reservoir.
Some of the projects are at various stages of completion and are set for completion in April next year’.