Stanbic provides Us$21.6m funding for Beitbridge Border Post upgrade

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An aerial view of the freight terminal and warehouse of the Zimbabwean side of the Beitbridge Border Post undergoing massive sprucing up.
  • Availed to holding company Zimborders Mauritius
  • Work began earlier this year
  • Expected to last for 30 months

HARARE-Stanbic Bank with its parent company, Standard Bank Group recently availed a US$21.6 million loan facility for the sprucing up of the Beitbridge Border Post and its environs.

The loan facility was availed to a concession holding company Zimborders Mauritius (Zimborders) towards the rehabilitation and modernisation of Zimbabwe’s side of the Beitbridge Border Post as well as the development of associated infrastructure in and around the town of Beitbridge.

Work on the rehabilitation of the Border Post started in early this year.

The Group’s Regional Head in South and Central Africa Investment Banking, Chungu Kaunda, said the facility demonstrated the financial services institution’s quest to provide impactful financing solutions across the key sectors driving Zimbabwe’s economic recovery, including the infrastructure sector.

“While raising finance remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, this transaction speaks to Standard Bank’s ongoing commitment to use its on-the-ground presence and expert capabilities across Africa to finance the development of infrastructure projects throughout the continent,” said Kaunda.

“Standard Bank’s local presence and its strong relationships with key stakeholders in the region were crucial to ensuring the positive outcome,” he added.

As part of the transaction, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe is also local Account Bank for Zimborders, utilising its local capabilities to assist the client with its transactional requirements and also acting as liaison with Government and regulatory agencies whose oversight and approvals were crucial for the bankability of the project.

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Executive Director for Wholesale Clients Betty Murambadoro said, “The Bank is not only providing debt funding to Zimborders. We are also utilising our channel and capabilities as local Account Bank for Zimborders in a way that provides comfort to both the borrower and syndicated lenders.”

Beitbridge Border Post is the busiest border post in Southern Africa by way of movement of people and commercial traffic. South Africa remains one of Zimbabwe’s key trade partners and Stanbic Bank realises the importance of this project towards enhancement of trade between not only the two (2) countries but across the North-South corridor including countries North of Zimbabwe.

Access to infrastructure remains critical to the future growth potential of sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains extremely limited across large parts of the region. The Bank is proud to have played its role in helping to close this infrastructure deficit.

“Achieving this milestone is testament to Standard Bank’s strong capabilities and expertise in the Energy and Infrastructure space. We remain ready to support local and regional entities across various sectors to see their projects through to fruition, by offering a robust suite of Investment Banking products,” said Terence Mapfumo, the Head of Investment Banking in Zimbabwe.

A total of US$300m was earmarked for the Beitbridge Border Post modernisation project, with the first phases of refurbishment now complete, that is the pre-commencement works, this was the freight terminal which was expected to be up and running by the end of September 2021. The freight terminal will be used predominantly by commercial vehicles crossing into and out of the country. The other phases are internal border infrastructure development and outside border infrastructure development.

The project will see new terminals being built for each vehicle category, as well as the inclusion of new vehicle parking areas as well as feeder roadways.

The project is expected to last for 30 months.

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