Water problem triggers SA border closure

Business Top Stories Zimbabwe

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

Commercial cargo is gradually piling up at Beitbridge Border Post after South Africa temporarily closed its side of the border due to a major fault on their water supply line.

The development has seen the border running without water in the last 24 hours and only skeletal staff are manning the border key points.

Long-distance trucks heading to either Zimbabwe or South Africa are piling up in truck stops and major highways on both sides of the border.

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According to a notice sent to inter-border management committee members by South Africa Revenues Services (SARS) senior manager at Beitbridge Ms Florah Maluleke, efforts are underway to restore normal water supply services.

“Please note that we have no running water since yesterday, and PMC has resolved to close the Port due to the prevailing health hazards associated with this,” she said.

“The Port will close at 18h00, to allow the new pump to fill up the reservoir and reopen 06h00 tomorrow morning. The RAMP Contractor is continuing work on resolving the problem”.

This is the second time the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa has been temporarily closed in the last 12 months.

Last year the border was closed for 24 hours at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when several SARS officials tested positive.

Health officials in the neighbouring country had to close the port to carry out massive disinfections.

Currently, an average of 1200 commercial trucks cross the border daily.