Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Load shedding in South Africa hits travel at busy Beitbridge Border

By Ray Ndlovu | Bloomberg |

South Africa’s record power outages are stifling travel across the key bridge between the country and Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s busiest inland borders.

Queues at Beitbridge, a major economic and migrant route for southern Africa, were reported as more than 4km long on Tuesday.

Rolling blackouts imposed by Eskom were to blame, as “passports could not be scanned”, according to Nick Mangwana, Zimbabwe’s Secretary for Information and Publicity.

The bridge across the crocodile-infested Limpopo river is notorious for lengthy queues even when functioning properly, especially during the Christmas holidays when thousands of Zimbabweans travel home from South Africa.

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On average, about 25 000 people pass through the border daily, according to the Zimbabwe government.

South Africa isn’t the only African nation struggling to keep the lights on.

Electricity blackouts continue to haunt Malawians for several hours every day and every night as the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) battles to keep the lights on, writes IOL Africa’s Chad Williams.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera described the current incessant power outages and fuel scarcity as a “temporary headache”.

“I know that the current shortage of fuel is affecting manufacturing, business, work, and domestic life and I want to assure you that we are seized of this matter to ensure that there is a product in the service station in the short term, while we work on long term forex issues that are at the root of this problem,” said Chakwera.