Messages are being received via the Transit Assistance Bureau (Transist) that the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is not operating this morning.
This after a clearing agent in Musina yesterday informed Transist members that BBR, as the crossing is commonly called, had closed because of a water shortage.
Yesterday’s message said in order to allow water to be pumped to the reservoir, the border would be closed from dawn to dusk for 12 hours starting at 6pm last night.
Initial texting on Transist’s Whatsapp group seemed to suggest though that the border was not operating early this morning.
The same source, who notified members of yesterday reservoir replenishment, said the border was indeed functioning, but the usual practice of creating extra lanes to get to the control zone and squeeze through the troublesome transit, had apparently played havoc with effective processing.
“The usual nincompoops formed five-lane congestion at the gate,” the agent said.
Varying reports filtered through thereafter that on the Zim side drivers were not allowed to cross.
Speculation was that it was because of new Covid regulations north of the Limpopo.
Mike Fitzmaurice of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta) confirmed that the water issue had not yet been resolved, but was told by the relevant contractor that the water shortage would be sorted out soon.
It led some Transist members to quip that it should not be allowed that a sudden water problem should result in the closure of an important land border, the only such touch point between Zim and SA.
Portaloos and drinking water from Musina could prevent such an incident altogether, the agent said.