Protests erupt at Beitbridge border over import restrictions

It’s reported crowds on the SA side were blocked by police from entering the border post.

Picture: WikiCommons.

HARARE - Protests have broken out on the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe over new restrictions imposed on imports.

The restrictions have proved very unpopular with Zimbabwean traders, many of who depend on bringing in cheap imports to earn a living.

It's not clear how far today's demonstrations have affected the flow of traffic at Beitbridge.

There are reports of crowds on the South African side, where protesters, including Zimbabweans and South Africans, were blocked by police from entering the border post.

Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper is reporting in an online update that the border post has been shut down.

According to a statement from an organisation calling itself the Beitbridge Crossborder Transporters Association, demonstrations were planned for both sides of this busy border post, but police on the Zimbabwean side refused to give the green light for a demonstration.

Traders claim they're asked to pay hefty deposits or fines for basic foodstuffs that they don't have import licenses for under new Zimbabwean restrictions.