Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has called on the neighbouring country’s government to speed up the full implementation of the One-Stop Border Post concept at Beitbridge Border Post, where delays in the movement of commercial cargo and congestion of human traffic have become a perennial challenge.
The committee visited SADC’s busiest inland port on Tuesday and said it was also critical for the Border Management Authority (BMA) to be operational to attend to administrative and other operational challenges.
Beitbridge Border Post is one of the major trade links between South Africa and the rest of SADC, where over seven million travellers and an estimated 700 000 commercial trucks pass through annually.
The parliamentarian’s visit was prompted by the chaos that obtained at the port of entry during the just-ended festive season where travellers were spending close to three days at the border.
In a statement, the committee’s chairperson, Advocate Bongani Bongo said the problems at Beitbridge should be addressed without any further delays.
He said the efficiency of movement of travellers and goods is critical to achieving the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The committee believes that the BMA will be an added force in handling the high volume of people and goods at the port of entry.
Under the concept, travellers and goods will be cleared at one point for either entry or exit into both countries.
This is opposed to the current set-up where processes are being duplicated on both sides of the border.