South Africa acts on Beitbridge congestion
By Thupeyo Muleya
South African authorities have come up with a host of measures to address challenges that have seen commercial truck drivers spending at least 11 days at Beitbridge Border Post.
Sadc’s busiest port of entry handles at least 1 200 haulage trucks at peak and 800 off-peak daily.
It serves as a transit point for cargo destined for Angola, DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
There has been a traffic gridlock at the border since Zimborders Consortium opened its new freight terminal at Beitbridge Border Post a fortnight ago.
Some of the challenges are linked to the new border access fees, slow traffic flow systems, lack of coordination on the Zimbabwean side of the border.
The situation has been very chaotic for the last seven days and scores of truck drivers had to block traffic in and out of Zimbabwe on Sunday afternoon, prompting the two countries inter border management committee to act.
“Due to congestion challenge along the N1 towards Beitbridge Border Post as a result of slow movement on the side of Zimbabwe, we will soon stop movement of commercial vehicles towards Musina to manage and decongest the border post.
The vehicles will be stopped at the Baobab tollgate Truck Park,” said Limpopo’s Department of Traffic spokesperson Mr Mike Maringa.
He said the move was meant to ensure that the festive season period traffic is not affected by heavy trucks at the border post.
All movements towards the border, he added, will be from local truck parks and not from the road.
Mr Maringa said although there was a heavy flow of traffic towards the border, authorities were still in control.
Zimborders Consortium, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen said they had made headway in clearing South Africa bound traffic on the Zimbabwe side.
“Southbound queues are now under 1 km, so the process is starting to bear fruits. The queues were stretching for more than 4 km in the last three days.
“We are now focusing on northbound which is improving slowly, but we need to work hard on that front,” he said. The Chronicle