Trucks are backed up in long queues at the Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe, with some drivers complaining that they have been stuck for three days.
When GroundUp visited the area on Tuesday 28 July, the queue of trucks crossing into Zimbabwe or on their way to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania stretched back about 15km to Nancefield in Musina.
“I really do not know what is going on at the border. Since I joined the queue on Sunday evening 26 July I have not yet moved even 900 metres,” said Newancy Mudzimurenga, a driver for J F Transport.
Mudzimurenga delivers assorted goods to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. He was coming from Johannesburg.
Louis Muchemwa, a driver for Skar Freight, said he had been at the same spot, at the China City mall in Musina, since Monday 6pm.
“What surprises me is that some trucks drive past and are not stopped by traffic officers. We suspect these traffic officers are bribed,” said Muchemwa.
Mudzimurenga said truck drivers had switched to the Beitbridge border from the Kazangula border post between South Africa and Botswana. “Some of the drivers tell us if they use the Kazungula border, once they get into Botswana they are quarantined. This is not really good for drivers. It means one will have few loads per month,” said Mudzimurenga. There is no quarantine for drivers in Zimbabwe.
Asked for information about the queues, Limpopo transport department spokesperson Matome Taueatsoala merely sent on a message from the police station at the border, suggesting that the delays were caused by the closure of a “transit shed” on the Zimbabwean side. When GroundUp asked Taueatsoala via WhatsApp what this meant, he replied: “My brother you’re at the border please ask people there. I got that message from the police station there.”
The police station referred GroundUp to the provincial SAPS, which in turn referred GroundUp to the Department of Home Affairs which had not replied to our queries by the time of publication.