Zim smugglers use inflatable boats to cross into SA

The state-run 'Chronicle' says people are paying anything between R100 and R500 for a one-way trip.

FILE: The Zimbabwean flag. Picture: Supplied.

HARARE – Smugglers in Zimbabwe are now using inflatable boats to carry people and contraband across the Limpopo River.

Zimbabwe’s stream of migrants have braved crocodiles and drowning to enter South Africa illegally for years and it’s still not clear if this way of crossing is much safer.

These boats appear to be operating 30 kilometres upstream of Beitbridge.

They are used by Zimbabweans trying to cross illegally into South Africa and by traders trying to get around what’s effectively a ban on many South African imports.

South African goods that do come through official borders are slapped with duties which is why unofficial crossing points are big business.

The state-run Chronicle says people are paying anything between R100 and R500 for a one-way trip.

But crossing in inflatable boats isn’t without danger, with a man reported to have drowned in the Limpopo River last week while trying to rescue his boat.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)