The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) says it is in the process of acquiring more hi-tech equipment including mobile cargo and baggage scanners to speed up operations at the newly upgraded Beitbridge border post.
ZIMRA Acting Commissioner-General, Rameck Masaire, on Wednesday said that they had started deploying additional manpower to the border post in anticipation of increased traffic during the festive seasons. He said:
We have gone out on tender to get additional cargo and baggage scanners. The tender process is now at an advanced stage. The new equipment will help us get the job done.
However, we will not use the scanners only, but we have other risk management options that are available so that we don’t have a situation where scanners delay the movement of cargo.
… We have already started deploying additional resources to Beitbridge so that we have optimum human resources that are required for the operations.
He said they were taking staff from other less busy operations, which they were now deploying to Beitbridge, the SADC’s busiest inland port of entry. Said Masaire:
Beitbridge has been identified as one of our key operating areas and there is a deliberate decision to make sure that all levels within the border are properly supported in terms of recruitment.
So that process is already in place from regional managers, shift managers, and supervisors and general staff.
… We are looking at an excess of 300 workers and currently, they are less than that.
In fact, we need at least 450 people at Beitbridge to increase efficiency.
Truck drivers have been experiencing long delays at the Beitbridge border post recently, with the South African government blaming Zimbabwe for the chaos, saying it is negatively impacting the movement of goods across the region.
Truck drivers were reportedly spending up to 10 days at the Beitbridge border post as toll company Zimborders, which has been awarded a contract by the Zimbabwean government to upgrade the border post, began collecting toll fees.