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Travellers turned away at border post

BY REX MPHISA A HANDFUL of travellers seeking to cross into South Africa were yesterday turned away at Beitbridge Border Post as the Zimbabwean side is yet to be opened. Earlier, there was a haulage trucks jam caused by stringent regulations in South Africa before officials relaxed the rules. Officials in that country had indiscriminately implemented their new requirements for arrivals, catching truck drivers who were expected to present COVID-19-free certificates unawares, resulting in a traffic jam as drivers were refused entry. Among several stringent requirements for arrivals, South Africa expects visitors to have certificates from recognised institutions showing that they are COVID-19-free, which has not been a requirement for cross-border hauliers whose passage was uninterrupted throughout the lockdown. “A number of drivers had been denied entry, but after some consultation, they allowed them in,” an official at Beitbridge, who asked not to be named, said. “Several senior immigration officials, South African Police Service, Customs and Excise and the Port Health Authority in that country were posted at the entrance to supervise the strict adherence to requirements on arrivals,” the official said. The South African side, unlike Zimbabwe, had clearly marked the places where people would queue observing social distance. On the Zimbabwean side, some people who thought the border would open today were turned away before even entering the customs and excise yard. Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe told State media on Wednesday that the border posts would remain closed until further notice.

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