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Southern Africa: Zim-SA Plot Beitbridge Border Decongestion

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GOVERNMENT says it has engaged South African authorities on how best to decongest Beitbridge border post amid reports some four truck drivers have died of hunger and exhaustion while waiting endlessly to be cleared at the region’s busiest port of entry.

Information minister said Wednesday there were efforts to decongest the border post.

“… Decongestion measures are being implemented to create safe zones in our border areas. These measures will include the setting up of check points prior to arrival at the border posts,” she said.

Mutsvangwa said, “The National Taskforce on COVID-19 continues to monitor the situation in the country especially in view of high traffic flows during the festive season.

“High level meetings have been held between Zimbabwe and South Africa, as part of efforts to address challenges and ensure the smooth flow of traffic at Beit Bridge border post.”

The Beitbridge border post is usually congested during this time of the year.

The situation has been complicated by the strict Covid-19 measures being implemented by the neighbouring countries.

On Thursday, there were shocking reports some four truck drivers waiting to be cleared at the border post lost their lives in a single day.

The misfortune was linked to long periods of waiting often with limited stocks of food and water as well as no places to refresh.

Queues of trucks and other vehicles are reaching 20km in both directions at the Musina, Limpopo, border crossing — and truck drivers are taking up to nine days to get into Zimbabwe, according to the Road Freight Association (RFA).

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