BEITBRIDGE — South Africa yesterday made good its threat to release haulage trucks stuck on its side of the border town following a computer systems changeover boob which caused hundreds of trucks to remain uncleared for nearly two weeks, congesting the country’s premier cargo entry point.
As of yesterday, South Africa’s Musina border authorities reportedly started releasing about 50 trucks per hour to the Zimbabwe side to ease congestion.
Two weeks ago, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) closed all border posts to introduce a new clearing software, but the system reportedly failed to take off, crippling all cargo operations at border posts.
Last week, Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube said government was not consulted on how Zimra would manage the transition to the new Asycuda World software which was supposed to be up and running since Monday last week.
Trucks released from South Africa are now stuck at the Zimbabwe border where there is little parking space. The Limpopo Bridge was almost blocked by midday yesterday as trucks kept piling on to the little available space.
Zimra officials who refused to be named have blamed clearing agents for failing to use the “paperless” way of clearing cargo.
But, Harare-based Indigenous Shipping and Freight Association of Zimbabwe hit back saying:
“We are not so stupid that our entire membership across the country would fail to operate that system across the country. Zimra failed to run their system and are now looking for a scapegoat.”
Clearing agents told NewsDay that since Saturday last week they had not been working and over 1 000 trucks were now stuck at the border owing to the blunder by Zimra.