SNEAKING TO SA: Zim migrants 'pay R100 to cross Limpopo in dinghies'

2017-03-13 13:06


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Bulawayo - No more wading across the Limpopo.

Illegal Zimbabwe migrants are now paying to slip across the crocodile-infested river to South Africa in dinghies, a newspaper is reporting.

The Bulawayo-based Chronicle quotes one inflatable boat owner saying that he charges a minimum of R100 per crossing - but the charge went up in January "because there was a lot of demand".

Smugglers of basic commodities trying to dodge Zimbabwe's import restrictions also use the dinghy service, which operates mainly at night, says the newspaper.

A smuggler is reported to have drowned on the Limpopo last week while trying to save his boat loaded with banned chicken meat.

The authorities now plan to acquire drones to better police the border, the Chronicle says.

The stretch of the Limpopo near Beitbridge is a hot spot for smuggling goods and people between South Africa and Zimbabwe. In December a bakkie stolen from Durban was dragged into the Limpopo by donkeys and then abandoned when the smugglers realised they'd been seen.

Those crossing legally through the Beitbridge border post faced significant delays last week after the South African authorities there introduced biometrics for travellers, the Facebook group Crossing Beitbridge claimed.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  sa  |  southern africa

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