Beit Bridge border post in focus during SA-Zimbabwe commission

2017-10-03 20:00
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Pretoria – The Beit Bridge border post, which connects South Africa and Zimbabwe, was a key topic during the annual Bi-National Commission where plans to eradicate border delays that affect economic activities were discussed.

During the commission, headed by President Jacob Zuma and his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Robert Mugabe, in Pretoria on Monday, Zuma underscored the strategic significance of the border post.

"This border post is the busiest border post on the continent," said Zuma.

"Much of our goods and services go through it. We cannot afford to continue to have unnecessary delays at that border."

Zuma said a one-stop border post should be established as soon as possible. The two countries decided to integrate their systems as far back as 2009.

Both Zuma and Mugabe welcomed the establishment of a joint technical committee whose mandate, among other things, would be to develop the necessary legal framework for the project. 

The two heads of state reaffirmed the strategic importance of the post and directed the relevant ministers to fast-track its progress towards operation.

South African Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi said delays at the border post hindered economic activities, not only for South Africa and Zimbabwe, but for the rest of Africa as well.

"Sometimes, truckers get delayed for three or four days, which is not good for economic activities," said Maswanganyi.

He added that perishable goods suffer damage when the trucks they are being transported in are forced to wait for extended periods of time while trucks carrying chemicals and petroleum can pose a danger when left to stand in the sun too long.

"A one-stop border post will not only assist in the easy movement of trucks but also the easy movement of our people, and that will strengthen the economic integration of not only the two countries, but of Africa as well."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  jacob zuma  |  joe maswanganyi  |  zimbabwe  |  sa  |  southern africa

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