SA closed its component of Beitbridge border post after a customs officer tested positive for covid-19.
South Africa temporarily closed its component of Beitbridge Border Post to allow decontamination to minimize the chances of infection.
Savanna News has learnt that South Africans are busy clearing commercial traffic, which is within their customs yard pending further action.
The country has stopped accepting trucks from either side of the border until the decontamination is done. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has since sent a notice to inter border agencies in Zimbabwe advising them of the latest development.
The notice by SARS reads:
Please be advised that SARS Beitbridge has been temporarily closed with immediate effect. Trucks that are currently inside the yard will be processed in order for them to leave but those that are still in the queue to enter customs will not be allowed into the yard. SARS BBG management is in a meeting right now and they will update us with full details once the meeting is over. The issue is Covid-19 related and may entail further closure for deep cleaning and fumigation.
Star FM could not reach SARS spokesperson, Sicelo Mkosi for a comment.
However, border officials who spoke to the publication said they were hopeful operations would resume at full strength soon.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, an average of 1 000 trucks have been using the border post daily. Traffic through Beitbridge peaked after other countries in the region closed their borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (ZIMRA), regional manager, Mr. Innocent Chikuni said recently during a tour of Beitbridge by Finance Minister (Professor Mthuli Ncube) the border had become arguably the COVID-19 hotspot in the country.
Chikuni said they were regularly disinfecting their work stations, providing appropriate PPE – Face mask / PE Work suits/ Sanitizers/ document disinfecting – to staff, maintaining social distance and using temperature guns/sanitizers at the entry gate into the border offices.
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