The International Cross-Border Traders’ Association (ICTA) has voiced frustration at the Zimbabwean government’s failure to completely reopen the country’s borders to allow its citizens to return during the festive season.
Hundreds of trucks, buses, taxis and small vehicles remain queued at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe this Christmas Day, attempting to get to the port of entry which has been congested for several days.
The queue has stretched as long as 14 kilometres to Musina.
ICTA president Denis Juru says, “I would like to condemn this Zimbabwean government because when the SA government announced that they are going to open their borders, they were citing the festive season. The Zimbabwe government failed to open the border entirely and all the people who have been locked in SA have been waiting for the borders to be reopened and this is not about travelling or holidays only, but it is also about people escaping SA. They have been locked in SA without money, work or food. This is the situation we have because Zimbabwe failed to open their borders.”
Traffic outside Beitbridge Border post remains congested:
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says truck drivers are to blame for the current congestion at the Beitbridge Border Post, as hundreds of Zimbabweans return home for Christmas.
Motsoaledi says most truck drivers do not have the documentation required to cross the border and are, therefore, blocking all other travellers who are ready to cross with the relevant documentation.
“If you go to Beitbridge now, our people are idling there at the border because the theatre of war is not at the border with customs or Home Affairs, it’s on the road where the truckers have blocked while they don’t have documents to pass through. Take them back to Musina, let the truck drivers do administration. They are in the holding areas. Then they will leave the road free. Then all the other pedestrians will not find the congestion. If the truck drivers were playing the game by the rules, we wouldn’t be having this congestion that is there.”
Discussion on the bottle-neck at the Beitbridge Border Post: