New Limpopo Bridge (PVT) Limited (NLB)
NLPI’s shareholders are involved with another significant investment in NLB, which, under a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) concession agreement, constructed and presently operates the toll bridge over the Limpopo River between the border posts at Messina in South Africa and Beitbridge in Zimbabwe.
A Bridge Becomes a Milestone
The NLB project was the first BOT project in the African continent. This state-of-the-art-bridge, completed in a record 13 months, provides an essential modern link with strategic importance. The positive impact of this modern infrastructure promotes trade and development in the two busiest African border cities.
A Busy Border
Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, is the busiest border post in Africa due to its unique position on the mighty Limpopo River. Thousands of pedestrians, vehicles and trains carrying goods and groceries cross the border daily.
When the old bridge between Beitbridge and Messina was built at the beginning of the 20th century, there was only one narrow path to facilitate the enormous amount of human and commercial traffic. Long queues were common and often caused severe safety hazards.
For this reason, and the growing demand for transport of commercial goods between South Africa and the rest of the continent, decision-makers realized that the old bridge was no longer appropriate.
Almost 100 years later, NLPI shareholders identified the great potential in building a new bridge. The governments of Zimbabwe and South Africa welcomed the innovative initiative.
The NLB’s advanced computerized systems are the hub for maintaining and regulating procedures related to the tremendous amount of goods and people crossing the international border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. These systems also promote the efficiency of the related government authorities.
Since its commencement, the new bridge has operated successfully. Its main accomplishment is fast service, resulting in a significant reduction of crossing time at the busy border post.
Nowadays the growth of businesses around the area is supported by the existence of the new bridge; NLB, employing only the local workforce, is one of the most important employers in Beitbridge.