- The situation at the Beitbridge Border Post has escalated with more fatalities confirmed
- Four truck drivers have died while waiting for their turn to cross over the border
- Experts say that the border is often busy at this time of year and that the deaths are a result of poor planning
The situation at Beitbridge Border Post has now escalated with four additional fatalities reported on Christmas Eve.
The truck drivers passed away while waiting in a queue that is predicted to be at least 20 kilometres long on both sides of the border.
The extreme heat, a lack of ablution facilities, food and water are all highlighted as contributing factors to the deaths.
Drivers are often unable to leave their vehicles due to a mixture of security concerns and a fear of losing their spot in the line.
eNCA spoke to Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, who has described the deaths as unnecessary.
Kelly explained that the border is bustling every festive season as foreign nationals working in South Africa return home for the holidays.
The expert is adamant that this should have prompted the government to plan properly in order to avoid the situation which has seen the delays prolonged for days.
The publication reports that at least 11 other people have died earlier this week while attempting to enter Zimbabwe.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that traffic congestion outside of the Beitbridge border has now reached Musina, kilometres away. Chairperson of the Beitbridge Transport and Clearing Agency Association Eugene Khoza has blamed the chaotic situation on the curfew.
The Zimbabwean side of the post shuts down at 6pm, which forces the travellers to resort to camping out in wait of the following day. Travellers have raised concerns that their 48-hour Covid-19 test results might expire while they wait in the queue:
"I am going to my family. We are still here on the road and the queue is still standing; we don’t know what is gonna happen and the papers that we have for Covid test we don’t know it is going to expire before we reach the border. Yeah, I’m going to Zimbabwe.
"The problem is that we have already Covid test and we reach there we need to test there that we have corona or we don’t have corona."
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