from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Beitbridge
BEITBRIDGE, (CAJ News) –ZIMBABWEAN authorities have pledged to take steps to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) related traffic crisis at the border with South Africa.
The congestion at the Beitbridge Border Post has been largely attributed to the different COVID-19 testing protocols implemented by different countries in the region.
These testing procedures have led to transporters diverting their trucks from some routes to and from South Africa and transiting through Zimbabwe.
“This has imposed an unanticipated strain on both border infrastructure and human resources for Zimbabwe and neighbouring country border stakeholders,” Francis Chimanda, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) spokesperson, stated.
He confirmed the current traffic situation at Beitbridgehad seen an unprecedented increase of approximately 100 percent in both import and export movement in the last few days.
Chimanda assured that ZIMRA was taking steps, in partnership with various stakeholders, to improve the turnaround time.
“ZIMRA is working with regional counterparts in neighbouring countries to facilitate trade and travel,” he said.
Some of the measures ZIMRA has taken to relieve the congestion and ensure easier movement include the fast-tracking of maize and other urgent food imports, fuel, explosive material and empty trucks.
Chimanda said ZIMRA was engaging with stakeholders to find ways of addressing the challenges through collaboration and teamwork.
“ZIMRA continues to engage with other stakeholders to ensure that our clearance processes and systems are as fluid as possible under the circumstances and the truck flow remains steady and consistently under control.”
The Beitbridge Border Post is the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa. Congestion usually peaks during the festive season and international holidays.
– CAJ News