Beitbridge Border Protest: Zim Takes The Bull by The Horn


A suppression on trade with South African businesses by the Zimbabwean authorities saw a group of South African traders staging a 5-hour blockade at the Beitbridge border on Friday.

According to South African Revenue Service (Sars), the protest blockade ran between 9am and 1pm, bringing traffic to a halt.

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However, Sars spokesman Sandile Memela said that the matter was been resolved when South African Revenue Service‚ the South African Police Service and Department of Home Affairs officials held negotiations with the leaders of the group.

“The meeting agreed that the grievances of the South African traders will be presented to the Department of Trade & Industry to take up the matter with Zimbabwean authorities.

“SARS wishes to commend South African officials for the speedy resolution of the matter that was occasioned by the attitude of the Zimbabwean authorities.”

Meanwhile, neighbouring Zimbabwe has deployed police and army officials to protest-hit Beitbridge border. According to the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the violent protests erupted over a decision taken by the government to limit imports from South Africa.

ZBC said:

“Three people have since been arrested‚ with the police and army now in full force in the town.

“Shops were closed for the better part of today as residents protested against the ban on imports.”

As protests over the ban on imports unfolded, ZBC reported that a warehouse in Beitbridge owned by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) had been set on fire by protesters.

ZBC added that contrary to the rumour spreading on social media, ZIMRA and the Department of Immigration were advising members of the public that Beitbridge Border Post had not been closed.

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In a statement to ZBC News‚ ZIMRA and the Immigration Department said the border post is operational in spite of the minor disturbances in residential areas of Beitbridge town that have been caused by the implementation of Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016.

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