By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimbabwe and South Africa are jointly planning to manage rising numbers of people expected to pass through Beitbridge Border Post this week, although only 200 travellers, beside cargo truck crews, went through the border post on the first day of reopening to private cars and pedestrians.
Some potential travellers wanted to be certain that the cars and pedestrians could cross the border after a false start on October 1, while many do not want to waste the US$60 private clinics charge for a Covid-19 test needed before the required certificate can be issued. The certificate has to be issued less than 48 hours before crossing the border.
Security has been tightened at all exit and entry points of the border, where many people without valid or without documents at all, were being turned away.
Traffic has been separated into heavy-duty vehicles, light commercial, light vehicles, buses and pedestrians.
Hand washing basins and footbaths and automated thermometers have been put at most buildings’ entrances.
The assistant regional Immigration officer-in-charge of Beitbridge, Mr Nqobile Ncube, said they were liaising with other the inter border agencies to maintain a seamless passage for travellers under the new normal.
“Contrary to our expectations, there was not much traffic and there are reasons why it was like this. First, the traveling public wanted to be very sure we are open and how we are handling the Covid-19 certificate component,” he said.
“I would like to think that many people wanted to make sure we’re officially opened before they may start acquiring the certificates which are valid for 48 hours.
“We are hearing news from other towns that people are planning to travel from tomorrow going forward and we have been liaising with our colleagues in South Africa to ensure we are not found wanting”. The Herald.