Construction of the Kazungula bridge which will connect Zambia and Botswana and ultimately link the port of Durban in South Africa to the Democratic Republic of the Congo nears completion. Project consultant Mr Kobamelo Kgoboko said construction works of the 923m long bridge, is now at 92% and by end of 2020 it is expected to be open to the public.
The Kazungula Bridge is being constructed at the Kazungula crossing, where Botswana and Zambia share a border measuring about 750m over the Zambezi River. It is also at the confluence of Zambezi and Chobe rivers, and the meeting point of the four southern Africa countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The US $259.3m project was officially launched in September 2014 by then Vice-presidents of Zambia and Botswana, Dr Guy Scott, and Ponatshego Kedikilwe, respectively, and is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the two governments. The multi-million-dollar project was hailed as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) economic integration success stories, one of the missing links to realizing the North-South Corridor identified under the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP).
The bridge project is expected to facilitate trade with Botswana and within the SADC region. The project, which entails construction of a 923 metre-long rail/road extra dosed cable stayed bridge with approach roads as well as construction of one stop border posts on the Zambia and Botswana sides; was scheduled for completion last year but failed due to Zambia’s failure to pay.
The bridge is expected to reduce transit time for freight and passengers, boost the regional economy and even increase global competitiveness of goods from Botswana and Zambia due to reduced time-based trade and transport costs.