South Africa has waived mandatory Covid-19 screening for truck drivers passing through Beitbridge Border Post to allow ease of movement at the region’s busiest inland port.
Congestion at the border peaked last week due to increased north-bound traffic.
However, Covid-19 health and safety protocols made the processing of individual and vehicular traffic onerous.
Truck drivers accounted for the bulk of people passing through the border.
In a letter addressed to SA’s department of home affairs director-general Dr Tommy Makhode, the director-general in the department of health, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, said truck drivers should undergo testing before they embark on their trips.
“We have discussed the matter with the Minister of Health (Dr Zweli Mkhize) and he has granted permission that the testing be waived for the truck drivers as requested,” reads the letter.
“We will, however, be writing to the department of transport to assist us to get the road freight industry to ensure that they take the responsibility for the testing of their drivers before they undertake the road trips.
“You will recall that the validity period for the tests for truck drivers has been increased for 30 days in our revised directions to minimise inconvenience.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday arrested two officials, including a police officer, at the border post for allegedly demanding bribes from travellers. The suspects – Tafadzwa Musakanya (35), a supervisor in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, and Progress Laiza Tabarwa (31), a police officer — will appear in court tomorrow.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said the duo was arrested after a tip-off.
“This resulted in accused one (Musakanya) and two (Tabarwa) being searched and arrested by officers from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and R1 170 and US$20 was recovered from accused one’s trouser pockets while R550 was recovered from accused two’s trouser pockets,” said Commissioner Makamure.
“When the accused’s accomplices – Constables Chokera and Msipa – saw accused one and two being searched and arrested by officers from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, they ran away . . . ”
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