As the festive season comes to an end, Beitbridge Border Post has become inundated with both vehicular and human traffic, with border authorities clearing an average of 3 000 light motor vehicles and 150 buses going into South Africa daily.
Humongous queues of vehicles stretching for almost 2km into Beitbridge along the major road leading to Bulawayo and Harare, have become the order of the day. The Assistant Regional Immigration officer-in-charge of Beitbridge, Nqobile Ncube, had this to say:
The volumes are high, we are clearing an average of 25 000 people and we expect more today (yesterday). We are constantly liaising with our South African counterparts to expedite the movement of people, especially those travelling in buses which have taken much of the parking space at the border. They have assured us that they are beefing up their staff. As usual, we advise people to travel early to avoid unnecessary congestion.
Thousands of Zimbabweans usually troop back home for the Christmas and New Year holidays and this results in massive congestion at the border.
As a result, Zimbabwean immigration officials and their South African counterparts have come up with a harmonised clearance system to avoid clogging the border with travellers and vehicles.