Beitbridge readies for Easter traffic surge

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Beitbridge readies for Easter traffic surge 
The Beitbridge Border Post now features three terminals, catering for freight, buses and private vehicles and pedestrian traffic, following its US$300m transformation.

Thupeyo Muleya-Beitbridge Bureau

THE country’s border authorities are prepared to handle the expected increase in traffic over the Easter holidays at the end of the month and the start of April. 

Good Friday falls on March 29 and Easter Monday, the fourth day of the holiday, on April 1.

The Beitbridge Border Post now features three terminals, catering for freight, buses and private vehicles and pedestrian traffic, following its US$300m transformation.

The number of travellers passing through the border is expected to rise in the coming weeks, possibly exceeding the 52 000 who crossed last year during Easter. 

An average 12 000 travellers a day use the border post at off peak and peak periods and that number is likely to increase to about 20 000 a day over the Easter holidays.

Regional Immigration Officer-in-Charge of Beitbridge Mr Joshua Chibundu said that they had adequate manpower to handle the increase and urged travellers to ensure they have all the necessary documents with them.

“Following the recent deployment of additional staff and the separation of traffic into the three terminals, we anticipate to have no problem in the clearance of large volumes of traffic associated with Easter holidays,” he said.

“We have cancelled leave days so that we have all hands on deck. In fact, there will be a standby team to ensure that we have adequate staff in the event that large volumes of travellers approach the border. Travellers are as usual encouraged to avoid side dealings. They must note that immigration counters do not require the use of agents.”

Mr Chibundu said those travelling with children should ensure that they have all the relevant documents. 

He encouraged parents to stop handing their minor children to bus conductors and omalayitsha (cross border transporters) since the security of their children was not guaranteed.

Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer Mr Francois Diedrechsen said they will use the same systems, which they employed in December for the festive season.

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

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

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