In a quest to further enhance trade between Botswana and South Africa, Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) is constructing a one-stop border post at the Pioneer border post near Lobatse along the lines of Kazangula Border Post between Botswana and Zambia.
Speaking to journalists at the construction site recently, the project coordinator Kitso Keipeile of Pego Projects, which is one of the project consultants, explained that the P500 million facility includes offices, 168 two-bedroom houses, eight high-cost houses, 22 low-cost housing units, as well as a creche and a sports field.
According to the BURS General Manager (South Region), Gaone Thela, the main contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC), was disrupted by the surge in COVID-19 infections in Botswana and that the project is scheduled for completion in September 2023.
Thela said the one-stop facility is designed to allow commercial service being done in one area in order to avoid bottlenecks in clearances and having to stop on both sides of the border, aid tax collection mobilisation and boost trade.
Senior Customs Officer Annah Gaeratelwe disclosed that BURS currently collects approximately P4 million at Pioneer Border Post every month even as COVID-19 protocols often cause delays of up to three days.
According to the BURS annual report for 2019, total tax revenue collected amounted to P38.2 billion against a target of P39.6 billion for that year, signifying a performance of 96.5 percent. In the report, BURS Acting Commissioner General Segolo Lekau noted that the taxman will pursue perpetrators of tax fraud more aggressively because they hurt the economic growth of the republic.