Movement of cross-border buses from SA to Zim during lockdown clarified

By Liz Dlodlo

Zimbabwe’s Consulate in South Africa said Wednesday that all bus operators intending to transport its nationals from the neighbouring country must seek clearance with its offices with immediate effect.

The consulate said the move was in line with statutory instrument 83 of 2020 which deals with Public Health.

It said the move would bring sanity to the movement of Zimbabweans from South Africa to Zimbabwe through Beitbridge Border Post.

In a statement on Wednesday, the consulate said the bus operators that fail to meet the set conditions won’t be cleared for passage into Zimbabwe.

“In order to ensure a predictable, smooth and orderly repatriation process which is compliant with the Covid-19 health protocols, travellers and bus operators should be guided as follows;

All bus operators involved in the repatriation of Zimbabwean nationals from South Africa are wit immediate effect required to obtain travel clearance  from the consulate of Zimbabwe in Johannesburg tow days before the intended departure date,” read the statement.

Those travelling from Cape provinces are expected to approach the Zimbabweans consulate offices in the capital for clearance.

In order to obtain the consulate clearance, bus operators are expected to submit; a passenger manifest, which is compliant not less than 70 per cent carrying capacity.

“The passenger manifest should contain passenger’s full names, passport or Temporary Travel Documents number, vehicle and trailer registration document, the final destination in Zimbabwe and driver’s identification details. Please note the repatriation process  is strictly non commercial basis. In addition all passengers and bus crews are required to have Covid-119 free certificates which are within 48 hours for presentation at the port of energy,” said the consulate.

It said the clearance process will be done online.

To avoid congestion at the borders, the consulate said five buses will be clearance at te border per day and that request will be done on the first come first serve basis.

“Bus operators must ensure that all their passengers are in possession of the requisite travel document before travelling. those seeking temporary travel documents must are mot requisite to make an appointment before vising the consulate,: said the statement.

An average of 10 buses have been travelling to Zimbabwe since last Saturday with most of them having challenges with ZIMRA over covid-19 clearance protocols.

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