Zimbabwe government to see construction of Limpopo Bridge

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The first Southern Africa public-private partnership (PPP) Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) concession, which the New Limpopo Bridge is under, is now under the ownership of the Zimbabwean government after the BOT agreement expired last week.

Limpopo Bridge is the first asset that got funding for 20 years in 1998 as a BOT concession. This would help replace the old bridge with a new two lane, one from Beit bridge boarder between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

According to the Fund Manager of Old Mutual Infrastructure, Development and Environment Assets Sean Friend, BOT concession ran its asset and allowed assets to return to the public sector. Shareholders in the project included Israeli consortium who were the main developers, Ned bank and Sanlam Bank.

The plan for the whole concession period was to finish construction of the bridge and then hand over its ownership to the Zimbabwean government at no cost.

Friend also noted that there are so many opportunities that allow institutions to partner with governments in order to meet the infrastructural needs of the Southern Africa Development Community. Public and private sector partnerships help deliver quality infrastructure for economic growth. It also helps governments to smoothly handle large projects.

This becomes the first Southern Africa Public-private partnership to reach the BOT transfer stage, and major infrastructure in Zimbabwe to be undertaken by the private sector under BOT.