Zimbabwe’s dawn-to-dusk coronavirus curfew regulations are impacting freight passing through Beitbridge, Freight News has learned through the Transit Assistance Bureau (Transist).
According to a member of the bureau’s WhatsApp group, runners aren’t allowed to operate between 6pm and 6am.
A clearing agent working at the border said the runners, who provide an important time-saving service by ferrying documents between trucks and customs while drivers wait in the queue, said they were being harassed by Zimbabwean soldiers.
In the meantime heavy congestion is again an issue north of the border.
One transporter said his rigs had left Gateway Truck Park just before the South African customs control zone at 3am this morning, yet his drivers had only arrived at the bridge across the Limpopo a short while ago (12:30).
Another Transist member asked if it would make a difference if the runners carried essential service letters, but the clearing agent said most of them did.
Unfortunately it’s apparently not making a difference.
“They are still arrested,” the agent said.
From comments sent to Transist about the issue, the general view is that Zim army personnel are exploiting runners.
“There is no official communication to say that runners can’t operate,” a transporter said.