Easter traffic drops by 2,5 percent at Beitbridge Travellers undergo clearing processes at Beitbridge border during Easter holidays (Pictture by Thupeyo Muleya)

 Thupeyo Muleya, [email protected]

THE volume of travellers who used Beitbridge Border Post during the Easter holidays declined by 2,5 percent this year compared to the same period in 2023.

Usually, about 8 000 people use Sadc and the country’s busiest port of entry daily, and the number peaks to 30 000 daily during major holidays.

The assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge station, Mrs Canisia Magaya, said during the Easter holidays last year they processed 48 807 travellers compared to 47  611 this year.

Travellers being processed at Beitbridge during east holidays. (Picture by Thupeyo Muleya)

She said although they had recorded a decline in Easter travellers, the department had deployed enough manpower to attend to traffic during the Christian Holiday, which also coincided with the school holidays in Zimbabwe

“We processed a total of 47 611 travellers during the just-ended Easter holidays against a total of 48 807 processed in the same period last year marking a 2,5 percent (-1 196) decline in movement,” said Mrs Magaya.

“However, as a department, we are ready to deal with a surge in traffic during the school holidays in our country.” 

She said they are working with other security agencies to enforce compliance issues and minimise the illegal movement of travellers through Beitbridge Border Post.

Mrs Magaya said they were not taking lightly to issues of child smuggling, which are common during major holidays.

Those who want to travel with children, she said, must do so within the confines of the law.

“We are in control but at the same time, we want to advise travellers to follow all the laid down legal channels to process their clearance at the border pots to avoid unnecessary inconveniences,” said Mrs Magaya.

“As a department, we don’t have intermediaries and hence we encourage travellers to ensure that their passports are cleared by immigration officers in their presence.”

She said in addition to valid passports, those guardians travelling with children under the age of 18  have affidavits from the parents giving consent to have the minors travel with them.

Guardian also need to be in possession of a copy of the child’s birth certificate and for one parent travelling with the child, an affidavit from the non-travelling parent is required, together with copies of the ID/passport of the parents.

Travellers being processed at Beitbridge during east holidays. (Pictture by Thupeyo Muleya)

Mrs Magaya said they had deployed enough security at all crime hot spots to ensure the border was watertight in controlling illegal movement.

Zimbabweans and South African border authorities are also working in unison with the South Africans to ensure they implement harmonised clearance processes.

Zimborders Consortium and the government have, through a private-public partnership, upgraded the border for US$300 million.

In a recent interview, the organisation’s chief executive officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen said they would use the same systems, which were carried out in December.

“We are ready and we will use the same plans implemented during the festive season, whereby there is some additional staffing planned for the vehicles and bus terminals (this is where Easter traffic generally picks up and not really at the commercial section).

“Working together with some border agencies, we will be utilising additional temporary clearance areas in the parking facilities, which will only be used during the very peak hours if so required,” he said. —X @tupeyo


You Might Also Like