Beit Bridge Border Post

The draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Beit Bridge Efficiency Management System (BBEMS) has been prepared but not signed.

The BBEMS was developed in response to representations by the private sector and other stakeholders. It is a multi-dimensional programme addressing wide-ranging issues which are aimed at reducing congestion, increasing operational efficiency, reducing waiting times and lowering transaction costs at the border. This programme is part of a wider COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite work programme, supported initially by RTFP and now by TradeMark Southern Africa and seeks to enhance regional economic integration through improved trade performance and trade facilitation.

The BBEMS work programme, which is anchored in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite work programme, consists of activities which, when implemented, will result in the:

  • finalisation of the MoU between Zimbabwe and South Africa and its signature;
  • effective and timely sharing of information among all relevant stakeholders at national and regional levels;
  • development of a blueprint for an integrated standard operating procedure (SOP) manual covering procedures of all border agencies of both countries;
  • adoption and implementation of common simplified and harmonised border control procedures, including carrying out joint controls by officers from both countries and the development and implementation of integrated computerised systems to enhance operational efficiency;
  • improved physical infrastructure at the border post, such as roads, parking facilities, inspection bays, office space, housing, bridge, etc. so as to improve operations at the border and reduce the time taken to cross the border; and
  • the establishment of a One-Stop Border Post (OSBP).
Beit Bridge album
Chirundu One-Stop Border Post

TMSA facilitated establishment of Africa’s first One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Chirundu in December 2009.  After one year in operation, a 50% reduction in freight times and 83% reduction in passenger waiting times have been achieved.

Despite these successes, however, there have been some challenges that have hampered the border post's operation as a OSBP.  One of the main reasons for this has been the fact that border agencies have had difficulty applying the procedures they have designed. There are a number of reasons for this, including change management issues; the priority of raising revenue over other factors, such as clearance times; and connectivity and communications challenges.

There are ongoing efforts to finalise the procedures, including a number of meetings being held and walk-throughs being conducted. Changes are being proposed to the procedures and it is expected that these will be finalised by the OSBP Chirundu Steering Committee in October 2011 and then annexed to the Memorandum of Understanding.

Funding requests for the additional physical works have been submitted to the Tripartite Trust Account for their consideration.

The main physical works that have been completed include: buildings, roads and parking areas in the CCZ completed, a new road bridge built, the Otto Beit Bridge rehabilitated so that it can be used for light traffic, communication systems (microwave links and radios) installed in CCZ and signage done.

Outstanding physical works at Chirundu include: full rehabilitation of the Otto Beit Bridge; rehabilitating approach roads to the border; laying of fiber optic and electricity cables; minor building modifications; construction of a covered bus inspection area; lighting and fencing of the CCZ; rehabilitation of the water reticulation system on the Zimbabwean side; rehabilitation of the conditioning system on the Zimbabwean side; and improved signage.

On the “software” side what remains outstanding is a final agreement on the procedures to be used, the design and roll out of a community platform; and the design and roll out of an immigration system.

Chirundu album
Kasumbalesa Border Post

New facilities at Kasumbalesa Border Post on the DR of Congo side, financed by the EU, France and government are complete and include offices, 3 weigh bridges, a scanner, two large warehouses, inspection bays and parking areas.  The new facility is 7km from the existing border.  DR Congo has allocated offices in the new complex to Zambians as they want to have it operate as a OSBP.

The Zambians have concessioned their side to a private company and construction has started, at an estimated cost of US$25m (US$20m from DBSA) and are planning 4,000sq.m. Of offices, 70,000 sq.m of parking and 6,000 sq.m of warehousing. The facility is expected to include parking for about 150 trucks, 15 buses and 40 cars. It is intended to have restaurants and banking facilities within the CCZ which will be fenced.

Kasumbalesa album
Tunduma - Nakonde Border Post

The border post at Tunduma – Nakonde is one of the border crossings that have been identified as important for improving border management efficiency. Tunduma – Nakonde is situated between the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia and it handles traffic from Dar es Salaam to Zambia and DR Congo and vice versa.

The border crossing experienced problems which can be attributed to deficiencies and capacity difficulties in the existing regulatory, management and administrative environments as well the state of physical facilities at the border. 

One of the main benefits of a one stop border post is the enhancement of operational efficiency of the border post which will lead to faster transit times (or reduced waiting times at the border), which will in turn lower the costs of trading.  The governments of Tanzania and Zambia are committed to implement a comprehensive programme that would develop legal, operational and institutional arrangements required for the operation an efficient one stop border crossing at Nakonde - Tunduma.

To date, a number of meetings have been held regarding the implementation of a One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Tunduma-Nakonde. The last meeting agreed on a juxtaposed model, on capacity building, ICT equipment needs, stakeholders’ sensitisation and participation and the necessary legislation and procedures required for OSBP operationalisation and coordination.

The meeting also established and approved the terms of reference for four sub committees on:

  • Procedures (Movement of goods)
  • Infrastructure and ICT
  • Legal and Administration and
  • Border Security
Tunduma - Nakonde album

Border Post Projects on the North-South Corridor

Early Closure of TMSA Programme: The Secretary of State of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has decided to terminate its financial contribution to TradeMark Southern Africa (TMSA), as announced on 4 December 2013. As DFID is the sole financier of the TMSA programme of support to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite, TMSA will officially be closed from 17 March 2014 instead of 31 October 2014. For more information about the TMSA closure, and for a summary of some of the more notable successes of the Tripartite achieved with TMSA support, please click here