THE construction of a Bridge at Kazungula Border across Zambezi River has so far created more than 500 jobs in Zambia and Botswana from the time construction works commenced in December 2014.
By the end of January this year, 476 people had been employed out of which 405 were local people from both Zambia and Zimbabwe while 71 were foreign nationals.
Road Development Agency (RDA) Director and Chief Executive Officer Kanyuka Mumba said more than 500 jobs had been created at the Kazungula Bridge Project.
Mr Mumba said project, which was expected to be completed in December 2018, was expected to create about 700 jobs at its peak.
He was responding to questions from journalists in Livingstone on Monday when Zambia and Botswana 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.
Structures to be constructed under package are Passenger Control buildings, scan building, ablution blocks, clearing agencies buildings, veterinary building, freight terminals, storage buildings, police buildings and waste disposal buildings.
Mr Mumba also said about 20 per cent of works had been done so far to construct the Bridge in Kazungula.
He said the contractor was currently laying up a foundation in water and on land which was the most challenging part of the project.
“The construction of a temporary Bridge across Zambezi River has reached 90 per cent. On raw materials for the Bridge such as stones and sand, we will ensure that contractors source them locally especially from Chief Sekute’s area.
“Through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as RDA, we want to ensure that raw materials are mined from Kazungula to create jobs locally. Contractors should also ensure to use local labour because Kazungula needs to grow,” Mr Mumba said.
And Southern Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba has refuted claims that workers on the Botswana side were getting more salaries compared to their counterparts on the Zambian side.
Mr Simuchoba said all workers on both sides of the two countries were getting same wages except that they were paid in their local currencies (Zambian Kwacha and Botswana Pula) which did not have similar values.
Zambia and Botswana Governments 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.