The number of pedestrians crossing the Beitbridge Border Post from Zimbabwe to South Africa to buy groceries in Musina has increased.
Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande was at the border post to assess operations. Nzimande says there is a need to upgrade infrastructure at Beitbridge to ensure quick passage of vehicles and pedestrians. “There are some quite number of challenges like these cars that are supposed to be in transition, but a number of pedestrian who cross mainly from Zimbabwe side to come and buy in South Africa. It’s a lot of people. This requires a huge infrastructure from government if we are going to properly manage our border post so that we really need to pay attention.”
Thousands of holidaymakers have already crossed the borders to Zimbabwe and other SADC countries. Beitrbridge Border post is the second biggest port of entry into South Africa. Custom officials working flat-out to clear private and heavy vehicles. More than 35 000 pedestrians cross here everyday. This is double the number during normal hours. Government’s concern – illicit goods passing through. Police have also raised concern about the fence and called for swift action. Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi says, “The border fence is not properly monitored and soldiers must be deployed.”
An opportunity for some to cash in. Business flourishes at this time of the year. Deputy Minister of Small Business Cassel Mathale says, “The businesses are benefiting, but more can still be done to improve small businesses. More so because Musina is a special economic zone.”
Zimbabwe national Emmanuel Moyo says he is satisfied about the service at the border. “It’s ok. Nothing wrong from Zimbabwe, just to buy grocery. They are there but it’s too expensive the service is fast everyday even today is faster.”
Traffic volumes are expected to increase this weekend.