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Plea for omalayitsha to move goods

by Staff reporter
13 May 2020 at 15:58hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (Zimcomm SA) has appealed to the Zimbabwean and South African governments to allow cross-border transporters commonly known as Omalayitsha to access the borders to move groceries and goods for migrant workers.

The organization said the cross-border transporters play a key role in the sustaining economies in both countries at community and national level and that such a move would help enhance the food and nutrition value chain.

In a statement yesterday, Zimcomm SA spokesperson Mr Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi said most families in Zimbabwe relied on migrant workers in the neighbouring country for their general upkeep.

"South Africa is home to thousands of Zimbabwe migrant workers most of whom who on weekly basis are supporting their families by sending groceries home through the services mostly of Omalayitsha," he said.

"It is recorded that the Zimbabwe economy is sustained to a large extend by the diaspora community mainly those who send groceries and remittances to their families.

"Our request as the Zimbabwe community in South Africa is for the South African government to consider Omalayitsha to begin operations under level 4 so that families back in Zimbabwe would continue to receive groceries."

"We propose that, they should collect goods from the homes of these sending groceries so as to minimize any gathering of people when sending goods".

Mr Mkwananzi added; "We believe it will be ideal for them to travel to Zimbabwe on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and then travel back to South Africa on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays."

He said under the proposal only the driver of the vehicle and one assistant should be allowed to travel with the goods through the borders.

Mr Mkwananzi added that strict hygiene and sanitization measures should be adhered to by both the transporters.

The official said when the borders were closed, the governments recognized the importance of cross border trade between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

"Only commercial cargo is still moved between the borders. However this decision did not consider that thousands of Zimbabweans migrant workers rely on Omalayitsha to move goods to their families at home.

"This has affected the food value chain for most families," he said.

It is estimated before the lockdowns, over 50 000 light vehicles pass through Beitbridge Border Post, mostly Omalayitsha, who besides paying an average of R1 000 in border levies and import duty for goods on behalf of migrant workers between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Source - chronicle

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