ZAMBIA and Botswana have signed a contract with Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group Company Limited of China (AFECC) for the construction of One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facilities at Kazungula Border on the Zambian side at a cost of more than K263 million.
The contract valued at K263, 670, 419.98, which is funded through a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB), forms package three of the Main Kazungula Bridge Construction Project which is expected to be completed in December 2018.
Package three of Kazungula Bridge consists of 10 main buildings, 800 metres of circulation roads, parking areas and 2.4 kilometres of the main bridge road.
Road Development Agency (RDA) Director and Chief Executive Officer Kanyuka Mumba signed for Zambia.
Kazungula Bridge Project Manager Pius Seone, who represented Botswana’s Ministry of Transport and Communication Deputy Permanent Secretary Isaac Moepeng, signed for Botswana while AFECC deputy Director Shen Fengmei signed on behalf of the contractor in Livingstone yesterday.
The Governments of the Republic of Zambia and Botswana are jointly implementing the US$ 161, 961, 304.84 Kazungula Bridge project while Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company Limited of South Korea is the contractor for the Bridge project.
Speaking in Livingstone yesterday after the signing ceremony, Mr Mumba said the construction of the OSBP facilities on the Zambian side was expected to be completed in 30 months from the commencement date.
Mr Mumba said the OSBP concept and the construction of the modern border facilities was expected to significantly reduce the border transit times from as much as five days to only one or two days.
“The signing of this contract on the larger Kazungula Bridge construction project fulfils the final linkage in the implementation of all the project packages.
“The Kazungula Bridge project is considered a priority by the Botswana and Zambian Governments, and is also supported by the Southern African Development Community (SADC),” Mr Mumba said.
He also said the Bridge and the OSBP facilities would improve regional connectivity through the North South Corridor as well as enhance regional competitiveness of Zambia and Botswana which would in turn boost trade and improve global competitiveness of the entire SADC region.
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba appealed to the contractor to employ local people to enhance the participation of Zambians in the project and enhance knowledge transfer from Chinese.
Mr Simuchoba also challenged AFECC to put up a modern of high quality which would stand a test of time.
And Mr Seone urged the contractor for the OSBP on the Zambian side to work round the clock to complete the project within the agreed time frame.
Mr Seone also challenged AFECC to comply with contractual obligations and maintain high standards of professionalism on the project.
“Unfortunately you have signed the contract at a time when it is very hot but you will still need to ensure that the project is completed before or at the time when the works for the entire Bridge will be completed,” he said.
In response, Ms Fengmei said her entity would ensure that the project was implemented in a timely manner and looked forward to working with various relevant authorities.