Beitbridge Border readies for Easter traffic
Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Border agencies at the transformed Beitbridge Border Post yesterday said they were ready to handle increased traffic during the Easter Holidays that run from April 7 and April 11.
The number of travellers using the new facility has been averaging 8 000 off peak and 20 000 at peak since Covid-19 travel restrictions were lifted last year.
Beitbridge Border Post now has three terminals for freight, buses and private vehicles and pedestrians, which were constructed as part of a US$300 million private-public partnership between the Government and the Zimborders Consortium.
Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen, said they will use the same systems as those they carried out in December.
“We are ready to enhance a seamless flow of traffic through the port of entry again,” he said.
“Basically, we will be running the same programmes we used in December last year and these were effective.
“You will note that traffic has been separated and there are now more service points at the border, so we don’t anticipate any challenges.”
Mr Diedrechsen said at the moment, traffic flow was normal and they there busy putting final touches post construction of all three terminals.
The freight terminal was completed under Phase One in October 2021, bus terminal in June last year and private cars terminal in November last year.
Regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge, Mr Joshua Chibundu, said they have adequate manpower to clear traffic at all the three terminals.
“As usual, the border agencies will be using the synchronised clearing processes so that we don’t keep travellers longer than necessary at the point of entry,” he said.
“On our side as a Department, we have the manpower and are ready to roll. At the same time, we want to warn travellers against the use of third parties to carry out processes with us.
“This can be costly; we don’t have agents. People should be cleared physically to avoid inconveniences.”
Mr Chibundu said their compliance and enforcement team would be working with other security agents at the border to minimise and combat rent-seeking activities and irregular migration at the border.
The upgrade and modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post has automated most services to minimise human interface between travellers and border agencies.
Previously, human interface and limited infrastructure was seen as the main cause for long delays during peak periods at the border.