Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to spearhead the construction of two tourism border posts with South Africa in a move set to improve regional tourism, the deputy minister of Home Affairs Obedingwa Mguni said yesterday.
He said Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko chairs the committee and that the sites have already been identified in Beitbridge.
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He said one port will be constructed at Chituripasi area some 156km east of Beitbridge town and the other at Shashe some 120km west of the current border post.
Under the new order, Chituripasi border post will create a passage for those accessing the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area, which is made up of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Shashe port will cater for tourists visiting the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) on the west of Beitbridge town. The Mapungubwe TFCA is made up of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.
“An interministerial committee was created this week. We will soon be visiting the proposed sites to ascertain the immediate needs and map the way forward. “The two countries have agreed on the two points. What is only left is for us to expedite the construction processes,” he said. Zimbabwe and South Africa agreed on the proposed sites in 2006 but an acute shortage of resources has resulted in the processes moving at a snail’s pace.
It is also understood that upon completion the two borders will help relieve the pressure at Beitbridge, which is the only inland port between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
So far South Africa and Botswana have opened Pont Drift tourism border for those accessing their components of the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA.
Mozambique and South Africa also opened another tourism border at Giriyondo in December 2005.
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