Phase one of the construction of the Kazungula 923-metre-long permanent rail and road bridge between Zambia and Botswana is nearing completion with the construction of the bridge on the Zambian side complete.

Kazungula Bridge, a multinational project on the North South Corridor (NSC) in the SADC region, is part of the infrastructure improvement programme intended to boost regional integration.

The NSC serves the economies of eight SADC countries, and the Kazungula road and rail bridge over the Zambezi River would be the key trade route linking the port of Durban in South Africa to the inland countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, the DRC, and Mozambique and up to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

Construction of offices and staff accommodations are also progressing well, with some of the offices already occupied.

The construction of the Kazunugla Bridge is a bilateral initiative between Botswana and Zambia, which commenced in December 2014 at a cost of about US$234 million.

It is due for completion in the third quarter of this year.

In a joint statement tthe Botswana’s Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport and Communications, Neil Fitt and Zambia’s Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Supply, Joe Kapembwa said that construction of a temporary bridge on the Zambian side has been completed.

The bridge on Botswana side is scheduled for completion in June this year.

Phase one of the project comprises the construction of a 923-metre-long rail and road bridge, while phase two involves construction of one-stop border post facilities and ramps on the Botswana side and the final phase involves construction of similar facilities and ramps on the Zambian side.

Phase one started in December 2014 and is expected to be completed in December 2018 while phase two is expected to commence this month.

In 2014 the project suffered a blow when one of the funders, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which was supposed to have invested over US$110 million into the project pulled out over a tender dispute leaving financial gaps in the funding of the project.

These led to delays to the project because of the  disagreements with some of the stakeholders.

Southern Times has since gathered that the project is over 200 hundred days behind schedule.

The estimated total project cost is approximately US$259.3 million funded through a co-financing arrangement with African Development Bank and EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund grant.

In 2014, Botswana’s Transport Hub Co-ordinator, Goitsemang Morekisi attributed the delay in the construction of the Kazungula Bridge Project  to JICA’s disagreeing to the technical evaluation of the three bids which were submitted for the project, requesting for a re-evaluation.

It is understood that before a tender could be awarded, a dispute arose early this year over the technical evaluation of bids from three shortlisted firms.

The firms included a joint venture between Japan’s Shimizu and South African Stefanutti, South Korea’s Daewoo and China Major Bridge Corporation.

In April 2014, ministers of transport of the countries met the Japanese delegation in Kasane to discuss the issues surrounding the tender evaluation. Following the meeting, the two governments agreed to award the contract without the support of JICA, according to Morekisi.

Morekisi said that the two governments have since decided to award the tender for the construction of the bridge to Daewoo, while other components of the project, which include the building of two one-stop border posts, are still to be awarded.

“An award of the contract for package 1, which refers to the bridge only, was made to Daewoo E&C at the sum of US$162 million on the July 26, 2014,” said Morekisi.

Zambia and Botswana officials and Daewoo representatives met in Livingstone, Zambia, on August last year to thrash out details on the scope of work procurement rules and contract terms.

The project scope includes the building of a bridge linking Botswana and Zambia over the Zambezi River to replace the existing ferry and includes one-stop border post facilities at Kazungula.

Many economic spinoffs, such as reduced border transit time, improved procedures on trade facilitation, improved border management operations, and consequently, increased traffic and reduced time based transport and trade cost, are expected once the bridge is complete.

This project, it is anticipated, will directly benefit populations and businesses engaged in mining, agricultural and service sectors, which contribute 60-80 percent of the region’s GDP, according to the project appraisal report of October 2011.

The benefits, it notes, will be through increased opportunities for intra-and extra-regional trade activities, integration of the economies served by the corridor and the creation of jobs.

The project implementation is expected to be five years. The economies of SADC, of which Botswana and Zambia are major players, contribute nearly 40 percent of the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa equivalent to US$340 billion (2007 figures).

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Ba LT, WHERE ARE THE PICTURES of the COMPLETED SECTIONS? Are you not talking about the TEMPORARY BRIDGE THAT WILL BE USED TO MOVE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS and SUPPORT EQUIPMENT during the erection of the REAL BRIDGE?? Please consult with the SITE MANAGERS and give the right information!!

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    • @1 bwafyaa, NI JOURNALISM PA ZAMBIA AT IT’S STUP1DITY. THINGS WHICH ARE BASIC AND STRAIGHT FORWARD ARE THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE FAIL TO DO. SOMETIME I GET SO SHOCKED IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IN THESE DAY AND AGE, LT, AN ELECTRONIC PAPER CAN FAIL TO PROVIDE PICTURE FOR SUCH AN IMPORTANT PROJECT. EVEN BEFORE THEY START WRITING- THESE ARE THE FORMS OF DATA (PICTURES OR VIDEO) THE READERSHIP WILL BE WANTING TO SEE BEFORE THEY READ THE STORY IN FULL. I GET SHOCKED TO THE POINT OF WISHING EDUCATED PEOPLE IN SOME OF THESE (JOURNALISM) PROFESSIONS WHO HAVE LIVED AT LEAST IN SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA AND OVERSEAS CAN GO AND SET UP SUCH COMPANIES AND GIVE THE READERSHIP TRUE REPORTING AS THEY HAVE SEEN IT OVERSEAS AND FROM FEW COUNTRIES IN AFRICA AS MENTIONED ABOVE. EVEN A FOOL WOULD THINK OF AN…

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    • EVEN A FUUL WOULD THINK OF AN IMAGE IN THIS CASE. “AFRICA TWASEBANA”. WE CAN’T BE FAILING JUST ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.

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    • YOU GUYS WHO ARE IN LIVINGSTONE AND TRAVELLING ACROSS TO BOTSWANA, WITH THE RIGHT GADGETS- PLEASE, DO US A FAVOUR AND POST IMAGES OF THE KAZUNGULA PROJECT. WE ARE THIRSTY FOR PROPER NEWS REPORTING WHICH CANNOT BE FOUND IN ZAMBIA’S NEWSPAPERS. ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL WRITES SOMEHOW BETTER NEWS BUT THE IMAGES THEY PUT IN THERE NEWSPAPER ARE MOSTLY, NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TOPIC AND THEY ARE NOT ANNOTATED/CAPTIONED. TIMES OF ZAMBIA IS THE WORST- THEIR TOPIC TITLES ARE NEVER COMPLETED UNLESS YOU CLICK THE LINK TO THE COMPLETE TOPIC. MEANING ONE CAN’T JUST CHECK HEADLINES ON THE FLY. SO, I COMPLETELY AVOID READING TIMES OF ZAMBIA. IT’S ANNOYING IF YOU CAN’T EVEN READ THE TOPICS BEFORE READING IN DETAIL.

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    • REALL? BA LT EVEN ICIPUBA CAN KNOW THAT ANY BRIDGE CANNOT COST THIS LESS, $234.00. I QUOTE:
      “234 US dollars Kazungula bridge nearing completion”

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  2. Masamu pliz, 234 US Dollars? If only… And when is the road infrastructure going to come to support the increased traffic, or is everything going to drive straight through Lusaka

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  3. Sorry. The reporter us talking of the temporal bridge. The actual bridge is still very far. They have just started doing the putting up pillars for the actual bridge. The ealiest it can finish is 2019. This is from someone on the ground.

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    • Thanks for facts. It’s similar like the Madam VP was saying load shedding will end next year when the Batoka Dam project gets finished (but it has not even started). This government is very clueless

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    • Was there last Saturday not even near finished nothing new on zam side since aug 16 and bots have cleared the ground for the new border post, but big gap between zam and bots bridge of around 200m and this is the temp bridge not the real one, also why are they putting a rail section on the bridge, nearest rail link is 500km in francis town and 70km north in livingstone , bet the bots guys will build the francis town section to kasane long before the sleepy zambian rail group does the livingstone 70km link.

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  4. That is the temporal bridge- the actual bridge has not started construction- do not be deceived- PF fye? Actually contractor Daewoo says Zambia is not paying only Botswana is.

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