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20,000 daily travellers crossing into Zim

Traffic volumes have increased at the Beitbridge Border Post as Christmas approaches.

FILE: Beitbridge.  Picture: AFP.

ZIMBABWE - Around 20,000 travellers are crossing Beitbridge Border Post every day as Christmas approaches, officials in Zimbabwe said on Monday.

This is the busiest time of year at the post and complaints are regular about chaos at the crossing.

The state-run Chronicle newspaper said the busiest day so far was last Friday when 23,000 returning Zimbabweans went through the border.

The Zimbabwean side added staff in a bid to deal with the queues.

In a significant move, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) also deployed staff to the crossing.

Travellers with foreign-registered cars have to get temporary import permits.

This process has often slowed down crossing times at the border.

Forty extra customs staff has been deployed.

PERMIT WARNING

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has meanwhile advised Zimbabweans travelling home for Christmas to shorten their visits as a deadline to apply for permits looms.

It's not clear whether many Zimbabweans will heed Gigaba's advice.

The minister said in a statement the cut off date for permit submissions is 31 December.

He says all the paperwork has to be done in South Africa.

According to figures published in the Herald newspaper, only 64 percent of the 245,000 Zimbabweans eligible to apply for permits to live and work in South Africa have done so.

Gigaba says anyone who fails to apply before the deadline will not be allowed back into the country.

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