The Beitbridge Border is expected to reopen to vehicular traffic next week Tuesday since closure in March to curb the spread and transmission of the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes after Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe and his South African counterpart, Aaron Motsoaledi met Friday to discuss plans to tackle traffic congestion at the port of entry.
Speaking after the meeting, Kazembe said preparations had gathered momentum for the continued gradual border re-opening. He said:
We have met today with our counterparts in South Africa and we have agreed on a number of areas where we need to collaborate to ensure a seamless movement of traffic during the festive season and beyond.
This is a unique festive season where people have not been able to move due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the better part of the year and there is bound to be more human traffic from next week.
He added that the immigration, security and customs officials have handled huge volumes of traffic before and what is being done now “is beefing up staff and improving the capacity of port health officials to screen and test travellers to avoid creating congestion.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Child Care had already started testing border workers of Covid-19 to establish the numbers ready for duty.
Motsoaledi confirmed meeting “with our brothers from Zimbabwe,” and the existence of challenges of congestion in the last three weeks.
He attributed the congestion Botswana’s closure of its borders. Motsoaledi added that Zimbabwe and South Africa were “now handling most of the transit traffic at Beitbridge.”
Usually, the Beitbridge Border Post records high volumes of traffic between December and January as millions of Zimbabweans based in South Africa will be coming for the festive season and or returning to South Africa.
More: The Herald