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Kazembe meets Motsoaledi ahead of the re-opening of Beitbridge border post

by Staff reporter
27 Nov 2020 at 17:15hrs | Views
Home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe met with his South African counterpart Aaron Motsoaledi in Beitbridge on Friday ahead of the re-opening of the border to normal traffic on December 1.

The border, southern Africa's busiest port, has been closed to visitors on both side except for cargo and returning residents since both countries imposed lockdowns in March to control the spread of Covid-19.

Ahead of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, both countries are preparing to open the border on December 1 – but immigration officials fear being overwhelmed, with virus screening measures set to extend the clearance times for both passengers and goods.

South African home affairs officials said discussions between the two men centred on resolving the current truck congestion at the border, with queues of up to 10 kilometers forming on busy days.

Officials fear widespread chaos when smaller vehicles start arriving at the border as tens of thousands of Zimbabweans return home for the holidays.

The truck congestion has been blamed on an insistence by Zimbabwean customs officials to search all haulage trucks item-by-item in a bid to tackle smuggling and increase revenue collection.

Truck drivers now spend several days in queues at the border, rendering their Covid-19 clearance certificates obtained 48-hours prior to travel – a requirement by Zimbabwe – invalid. Zimbabwe charges US$60 for a re-test on arrival.

Source - zimlive