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Zimbabweans stream back to South Africa after festive season

The slow moving queues which have become a common sight before Zimbabweans crossed the border to visit their homes before the official start of the festive season break.

Zimbabweans Stream Back To South Africa After Festive Season

Immigration and customs departments from both countries have come up with a host of measures to ease congestion including increasing the number of immigration and customs officials doing duty on both sides of the border.

Traffic has also been re-organized to ease the flow of traffic and is separated into pedestrians, buses, visitors and private motorists.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has opened more clearing points on the departure side to ensure the speedy clearance of people travelling in foreign registered vehicles. Previously this was done by a single officer which inevitably lead to congestion.

Immigration officers at the border said they were clearing an average of 15 000 people per day on departures alone. During off peak periods 8000 to 10 000 people access the border post per day inclusive of arrivals and departures.

ZIMRA has deployed 40 more officers from less busy stations to Beitbridge while the Department of Immigration significantly increased its staff complement with 26 more permanent officers.

"We started clearing the high volume of human and vehicle traffic on departures soon after Boxing Day.

"We have deployed adequately and you will note that we still have a steady flow of traffic," said an immigration officer on the Zimbabwean border.

South Africa deployed 70 officers to Beitbridge on December 15, to ensure the speedy flow of traffic following a visit by that country's Minister of Home affairs Mr Malusi Gigaba on the same day.

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