Borders calm ahead of Christmas

2012-12-24 14:07

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Johannesburg - Traffic has gone down substantially at the Beit Bridge border to Zimbabwe and the Lebombo border to Mozambique on Monday, said the Border Control Operation Co-ordinating Committee (BCOCC).

BCOCC spokesperson Patrick Moeng said it was mostly commercial trucks that were making their way through the border posts.

"We have very few buses and vehicles passing through... When I checked at the Beit Bridge this morning, there were only 19 vehicles waiting to pass the border and that is a large contrast to the last few days," he said.

Moeng said it was not surprising that the borders were quiet at this time.

"Most people are thinking there is going to be a big rush on the roads and at the border so they leave on the 22nd and 23rd [December]... On the 24th, we find that it is usually quiet," he said.

The BCOCC was already preparing for another big rush after 1 January.

"We are reviewing plans to see how we can improve the roads for New Year's but the traffic will not have a big effect on South African as it will be coming from the other side of the borders," Moeng said.

He added that they were working on plans to give travellers information about when was the most convenient time to travel in order to avoid traffic jams.

No major accidents

Both the Zimbabwean and Mozambican borders received more vehicles this year than they did in 2011.

"Last year, the Beit Bridge border processed 19 000 vehicles a day but this year, there were around 30 000 vehicles a day.

"Lebombo processed around 17 000 last year and it was around 28 000 this year."

No major accidents or incidents have been reported at the borders or close to the border areas.

"It was just the incident on Sunday where a man died of natural causes at the Beit Bridge border," said Moeng.

The Zimbabwean national was reportedly coming from a medical check-up in South Africa.

Moeng said the man asked to be escorted to the bathroom but collapsed and died between the bus and the bathroom.

Last week on Monday, a woman gave birth to twins at the Beit Bridge border and on Tuesday, another woman also gave birth.

"They were incident-free births. Both the babies and mothers were in good health."

- SAPA

Read more on:    mozambique  |  zimbabwe  |  sa  |  southern africa
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