By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimbabwean and South African border authorities have come up with a raft of measures to deal with the anticipated increase in vehicular and human traffic during the Independence and Easter Holidays.
The Chronicle understands that authorities from the two countries have agreed to implement a harmonised border operational plan to speed up the clearance of travellers from Tuesday to May 5.
The assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge (Zimbabwe), Mr Nqobile Ncube, said they had also cancelled all off days for their staff with immediate effect.
“We are collapsing shifts and cancelling all off days with effect from 0600hours 16 April until 2200hours on 5 May 2019. This is to cater for all anticipated traffic from schools closure, Independence Day, Easter Holidays and schools opening,” he said.
“The extra officers from the collapsed shift will help in covering identified vulnerable points and manning outside counters.”
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Head of Communications Mr Francis Chimanda said their station was ready to deal with any increase in traffic.
Zimra’s decision to separate traffic into red and green routes has been paying dividends in the last two years.
The red route is used by those with goods to declare while the green route is for those with nothing to declare.
An average of 15 000 travellers are cleared at Beitbridge Border Post daily and figures increase to 30 000 during peak periods.
These figures include both arrivals and departures.
In 2018, a total of 105 762 travellers, 59 400 entries and 46 362 departures, crossed the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa during the Easter Holiday. The Chronicle