Ops improve at Beitbridge

Source: Ops improve at Beitbridge | The Herald August 8, 2018

Operations at Beitbridge Border Post have relatively improved as officials have embraced the border efficiency management systems.

Travellers used to hours in queues, but they are now served within 20 to 30 minutes. Traffic has also been separated into buses, commercial, light vehicles and pedestrians.

Further, the immigration clearance cubicles have been staffed with more immigration and customs officers.

A border official told The Herald that Zimbabweans and South Africans had been exchanging notes on applying harmonised clearance processes to efficiently clear human and cargo traffic.

“Operations and efficiency issues are being addressed through the regular inter-border meetings, where issues come up and solutions are arrived at instantly,” said the official.

“We will continue to review progress as we strive to make the border post user-friendly.”

In April this year, South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Mr Malusi Gigaba declared war on queues at all service points.

He told journalists in Pretoria that the initiative was part of concerted efforts to ensure citizens and other clients were served professionally when they sought access, in-person or digitally.

He said among other things, the departmental heads would roll out a raft of measures to improve the turn around time at their respective offices.

“We stand committed to do the best we can to win the all-out war on queues bedevilling our operations, in spite of structural constraints and other challenges,” said Mr Gigaba.

“This is not going to be a quick fix. It will be a process, one that we are committed to despite budgetary constraints and capacity restrictions.

“We have chosen to intervene innovatively to further improve the services we render to the public.”

In Zimbabwe, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs, has started rolling out trainings across the country to speed up the implementation of the Integrated Border Management (IBM) programme.

The European Union is funding the initiative at a cost of 3,2 million euros and it will run for four years.

The support is coming through the EU’s 11th European Development  Fund.

IOM National Project Officer (Capacity Building and Advocacy) Mrs Memory Mwale said recently that the new programme sought to strengthen public institutions’ capacity on matters around migrant governance.

“The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework (policy,institutional and legislative) in Zimbabwe,” she  said.

“We are looking at framework which supports State actors to manage migration in dialogue with non-State actors and in a migrant-centred, gender-sensitive, rights upfront-based and development-oriented manner.”

Mrs Mwale said they came up with the programme after they realised that there was a gap on issues of migration governance in Zimbabwe.

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