By THANDIWE MOYO –
THE Government says it is committed to ensuring work on the 923-metre-long rail and road bridge between Zambia and Botswana in Kazungula to be completed on time.
Housing and Infrastructural Development Minister Ronald Chitotela said in a statement that the Kazungula Bridge Project (KBP) would serve as one of the most important lifelines in the trade and economic development of the two nations once construction of the facility was concluded.
He said the Kazungula Bridge would further significantly enhance the swift movement of goods and services between the two nations as it would also eliminate the prolonged periods of time that local and international freight liners spent on the border.
Mr Chitotela said the Kazungula Bridge would not only boost trade between Zambia and Botswana but would advance economic interests of other inland linked countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said the project would cost US$234 million and that it would span 923-metre-long by 18.5 metre wide and link Kazungula in Zambia to Kasane, Botswana.
“The facility will incorporate One Stop Border facilities where Zambia and Botswana Immigration and Customs authorities will exercise control under one roof on both sides of the border,” Mr Chitotela said.
He said the facility would also feature a permanent rail line and walkway for pedestrians who made crossings between the two countries on a daily basis around the nearby border towns and settlements.
Works on site which commenced in December 2014 are being undertaken by Daewoo Construction and Engineering of South Korea and handover of the project with the two governments is expected to be in March 2019.