THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says the volume of traffic at Beitbridge Border Post has doubled in the last few days.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Beitbridge Border Post is one of the busiest inland ports in sub-Saharan Africa and links the northern and southern corridors, with 500 vehicles and 10 000 travellers passing through the port daily.
In a statement yesterday, Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda confirmed a surge in traffic at the border post.
“The increase has been largely attributed to the different COVID-19 testing protocols implemented by different countries in the region, which have seen transporters diverting their trucks from some routes to and from South Africa and transiting through Zimbabwe, resulting in the increase in the flow of traffic through Beitbridge,” he said.
“This has imposed an unanticipated strain on both border infrastructure and human resources for Zimbabwe and neighbouring country border stakeholders.”
Chimanda said Zimra was working with regional counterparts in neighbouring countries to facilitate trade and travel.
Some of the measures Zimra has taken to ease congestion and ensure easier movement include the introduction of more queues, fast-tracking of maize and other urgent food imports, fuel, explosive materials and empty trucks.
“The authority is engaging with its various stakeholders in order to find ways of addressing the challenges through collaboration and teamwork.”
“While there is room for improvement, there is need to maintain a balance between facilitation, revenue collection, enforcing controls, being mindful of the COVID-19 virus and the protocols that need to be implemented to reduce exposure for clients, employees and our other stakeholders,” he said.
Chimanda said Zimra continued to engage with stakeholders to ensure that “our clearance processes and systems are as fluid as possible under the circumstances and the truck flow remains steady and consistently under control”.