New threats to close Beitbridge border over imports ban

The International Cross-border Traders Association says the Zim government has a week to lift a ban.

Beitbridge border post on the South African side. Picture: Google maps.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Cross-border Traders Association says it will close down the Beitbridge Boarder again in a week's time if the Zimbabwean government doesn't lift its ban on imports of basic goods.

The association has briefed the media in Braamfontein.

Earlier this month, the association led protests in Zimbabwe and South Africa against the trade ban - with the border being closed for several hours and property burnt.

Its president, Dennis Juru, says Zimbabweans are against the implementation of restrictions on the importation of food, beauty products and building materials - and says government must abolish the new laws.

He says the government has been given a deadline of a week.

"After one week we are going to close Beitbridge Border because it is the busiest border in Zimbabwe."

Juru says they are also demanding that police stop their harassment of people entering Zimbabwe.

"We are experiencing a problem where buses are being searched. Maybe [within] 100km you find a police road block."

The association says should government not heed these calls, it will be joined by other organisations in Zimbabwe at the border next week.

LISTEN: State of Zimbabwe trade relations after ban on imports from SA


While calm appears to have returned to Zimbabwe following a stay away and violent protests that saw citizens clash with riot police, a group calling itself 'Tajamuka' is warning of more protests in the near future - to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to step down.

The group claims to represent youth formations from different organisations and political parties in Zimbabwe.

Tajamuka wants government to reverse its policies on the importation of goods and wants it to abandon its plans to introduce bond notes.

Spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi says problems in Zimbabwe will be resolved as soon as Robert Mugabe is removed from power.

"The people are fed up with President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF and this is because of the escalating economic problems. The government is unable to pay civil servants; something as basic as that."

The group has also called for immediate release of all the activists arrested for engaging in protests this month.