Border towns have welcomed plans by the government to reopen the country’s borders, saying it would provide relief to them in terms of employment creation and the revival of business.
Victoria Falls mayor Somveli Dlamini told NewsDay that the closure of borders negatively affected the tourism industry in the resort town. Dlamini said:
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We have three borders, which are Victoria Falls, Kazungula and Pandamatenga.
The closing of these borders affected us severely as business is slow. The reopening of these borders will boost our tourism industry as it is our sole industry and this will create employment.
People used to get medical treatment in Zambia since their nearest hospitals are in Livingstone, but they could no longer do so due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Beitbridge town clerk Loud Ramakgapola said the reopening will be a big relief for residents of this town as they rely on cross-border trade.
Ramakgapola added that the move will capacitate residents to pay their rates to the local government authority.
Last month, the government announced that the Victoria Falls and Kazungula border posts would be reopened to fully vaccinated tourists.
During a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the government’s decision to reopen the Victoria Falls and Kazungula border posts to fully vaccinated travellers was in response to requests by the tourism industry.