The situation on the Zimbabwean side of the Beitbridge Border Post has normalised following days of chaos which saw truck drivers spending up to 10 days in long queues.
The delays were caused by upgrades at the country’s busiest port of entry as well as the introduction of new toll fees pegged in foreign currency.
The toll fees are pegged at US$200 and $340 for small trucks and abnormal trucks respectively.
The delays at the border had raised concerns that transporters would opt for more convenient routes, prejudicing Beitbridge, but ZimBorders spokesman François Diedrechsen has allayed the fears. Said Diedrechsen:
While there may be some short-term movement from one border crossing to another, we believe our improved processes and crossing speed resulted in time and money savings to our clients.
We have received comments from various transporter groups where they made comparisons pointing out that some had sent trucks in both directions at the same time.
Those going through Beitbridge had fast turnaround time than the alternative routes.
ZimBorders Consortium is undertaking the US$300 million Beitbridge’s modernisation project that will see new terminal buildings being constructed.
Zimborders expects to collect more than US$1 billion over 17 years from toll fees before it hands over the upgraded border facility to the Zimbabwean government through a “build, operate and transfer” deal.