By Thupeyo Muleya
Border authorities here have come up with a raft of measures to deal with an anticipated increase in human and vehicular traffic during Easter and Independence Day holidays next week, it has emerged.
Assistant regional immigration officer-in-charge of Beitbridge Mr Notius Tarisai told a cross-border migration stakeholders meeting yesterday that they had deployed adequately and were ready to roll.
The meeting was held in Beitbridge and was attended by Government officials from Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Mr Tarisai said they had agreed in principle with their counterparts on the other side of the border to harmonise operations between 7th and 19th of April.
He said they had requested for more relief staff to complement the human resources on the ground.
“We have come up with a raft of measures to ensure the smooth flow of traffic,” said Mr Tarisai. “Traffic has since been separated into buses, returning residents, visitors, transit, motorists and commercial.
“Furthermore, we have opened up more service points outside the main immigration hall.”
Mr Tarisai said they would employ most of the strategies they used to clear traffic during the Christmas and New Year Holidays.
He said through the Border Post Efficiency Management Committee they had come up with a Consolidated Plan to ensure that traffic was cleared efficiently.
“Those travelling in buses will be assisted through the tagging system cleared on first come, first serve basis,” he said.
Mr Tarisai said they would create an express route for motorists who would want to access gate passes from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.
He said travellers would be directed accordingly to the various service points as they entered the border post.
Mr Tarisai said they had suspended all off and leave days for their members of staff to ensure they operated at full strength throughout the holidays.
During off peak periods, the department clears almost 15 000 people per day, including both arrivals and departures.
The Herald is reliably informed that the department of Home Affairs in South Africa would be deploying 60 more officers to Beitbridge between the 11th and 19th of this month.
A total of 170 000 people, 2 100 buses, 14 000 to 15 000 haulage trucks and 25 000 private cars pass through the border on a monthly basis.