Border chaos cleared
Thupeyo Muleya–Beitbridge Bureau
BORDER authorities at Beitbridge have cleared last week’s congestion at the port of entry when South Africa had to temporarily close its side of the post and trucks experienced delays of between two and three days to access Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Commercial cargo started piling up at Sadc’s busiest inland port last Wednesday after South Africa temporarily closed its component of the border post due to a water supply challenge.
The water woes have affected the South Africans since June last year following a fault on the major supply line.
Things got worse last week when construction workers went on strike, allegedly protesting the non-payment of salaries for more than three months.
It is understood the company contracted to fix the water challenge at Beitbridge has been playing hide-and-seek with its employees, resulting in the water crisis escalating.
Long queues of commercial vehicles that had become common along the N1 highway in South Africa and the Beitbridge to Bulawayo Highway, were cleared over the weekend.
Authorities yesterday said they were now focusing on enhancing the smooth flow of traffic during the forthcoming Easter and Independence holidays between April 15 and April 18.
By end of day yesterday, the border had been re-opened, but without water so the South Africans were having to make use of mobile toilets.
Trucks carrying priority goods and those with empty trailers were getting first preference to move across the border.
Zimborders Consortium chief executive Mr Francois Diedrechsen said the situation had returned to normal.