Home Affairs finds Beitbridge chaos solution

SA will send more immigration officers to Beitbridge to speed up the clearance of travellers.

SA will send more immigration officers to Beitbridge to speed up the clearance of travellers. Picture: Jacob Moshokoa/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has agreed to send more immigration officers to Beitbridge to speed up the clearance of travellers and cargo.

It also says it wants to build additional roads for heavy vehicles at the country's border with Zimbabwe.

Since last weekend, Beitbridge has been overwhelmed by tens of thousands of travellers trying to get back to South Africa after the Christmas holidays.

Officials have said the border post experienced an average of about 26,000 people passing through the port of entry daily in the past few days.

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said South Africa did not anticipate the huge volume of traffic this year.

Her Zimbabwean counterpart, Kembo Mohadi, held discussions with her on Monday to discuss what he called the "terrible" situation at Beitbridge.

Pandor has promised to deploy more immigration staff to Beitbridge with immediate effect.

Extra clearance points will be set up outside the buildings to try to ease the massive backlog.

A team of reporters from Zimbabwe's state media on Tuesday said they were briefly detained by South African police yesterday while trying to cover chaos at the border.