Zimbabwe officials start work on One Stop Border Post
By Business Reporter
Zimbabwe’s technocrats on Monday started modalities for the implementation of the Beitbridge One Stop Border Stop (OSBP) to reinforce its standing as the busiest border on the continent.
This came after South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and his Zimbabwean counterpart President Robert Mugabe directed officials from both countries to immediately start work on the OSBP and complete it within a year, during the Bi-National Commission held for the two countries in Pretoria last week.
The entire SADC region is expected to benefit from the OSBP.
If it comes to fruition the OSBP will become a fulcrum for the sustainable economic development in the region as it will smoothen the flow of business and boost trade.
As part of implementing the directive in earnest, officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce met at a seminar dubbed OSBP Awareness on Monday and resolved that “both Zimbabwe and South Africa are expected to jointly determine those facilities to be jointly maintained and those that will be the responsibility of each State individually”.
The seminar also recommended to “jointly determine the annual maintenance budget for jointly maintained facilities, fund the budget equally in advance and also establish a contingency fund to cater for the unforeseen.”
On funding models, the seminar resolved that public funds, national and regional sources of finance should be considered for the project.
It was also resolved that the two countries should make a firm commitment to fund the project as it was highly unlikely for private sector to fund development of an OSBP especially physical facilities except on a concession basis. Ordinarily considered public sector territory.
The one-stop border post concept allows travellers from Zimbabwe and South Africa to be cleared just once when travelling to either side of the border.
This is in contrast with the previous situation where travellers had to be cleared on both sides of the border.
The concept also has a positive impact in improving the smooth flow of traffic as well as cutting down on the costs associated with the moving of goods across the border.
The meeting in Harare was a follow up to a communique issued after the Bi National Commission in Pretoria.
According to a communique issued after the BI National Commission, both President Mugab and President Zuma steadfastly committee to the OSBP.
“Having noted the developments on the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Beitbridge, they welcomed the establishment of a Joint Technical Committee whose mandate, among other things, will be to develop the necessary legal framework for the project.
The two Heads of State reaffirmed the strategic importance of the OSBP and directed the relevant Ministers to fast-track its operationalisation,” read part of the communique.