Zimbabwean cross border traders say they will find a way to continue their activities across the border with South Africa in spite of the enactment of a new law in the neighbouring country that has the potential to restrict the free movement of people.
Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) secretary-general Augustine Tawanda told NewsDay Business that they have already made a proposal to the government on what can be done to reduce human traffic while goods continue to flow across the border. He said:
What I know from both sides of the governments (South Africa and Zimbabwe) is that they want to restrict the movement of the person.
In our proposal which we had made to our government, we had said that we can have two or three people crossing the border for a consignment of 15 others for restricting movement, so I do not know what that new South African law talks to.
If it is about restricting movement, we are very much alive to restricting the persons but at the same time keeping the goods moving.
This follows the coming into force on 21 July 2020 the Border Management Authority Act 2 of 2020 in South Africa.
According to Bizcommunity, the law seeks to oversee the management of legitimate trade and secure cross-border travel, prevent illegal cross-border movement and the smuggling and trafficking of human beings, protect the country’s environment and natural resources, and shield the country from harmful and infectious diseases, pests and substances.
The Act provides for the establishment of the Border Management Authority, the appointment and employment of border officials, and the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee, Border Technical Committee and advisory committees.
The Border Management Authority will be separate from the South African Revenue Service and other organs of the State.