14 March 2019

South Africa: Zim, SA Embrace One-Stop Border

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
Beitbridge Border Post.

Zimbabwe and South Africa have agreed on the establishment of the Beitbridge One-Stop Border Post as a way of addressing challenges faced by travellers between the two countries at the border post.

This came out of the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission Summit of the two countries which ended in Harare on Tuesday.

The Commission was informed that a joint technical committee was already in place.

The joint commission, which was set up after the second session of the BNC last year, formed legal, procedures, ICT, infrastructure and human resources task teams.

The joint technical committee agreed to share and exchange information on the work that has already been done by both countries which would serve as a basis for the negotiations of the One-Stop Border Post.

The Commission noted that Zimbabwe submitted proposals to the bilateral agreement for the border post and operational manuals.

"South Africa informed the Commission that (its) government approved the framework for the One-Stop Border Post and they are currently consulting with stakeholders on the development of the One-Stop Border Post at Beitbridge as a priority project," said an official.

"The Commission noted the challenges emanating from both countries operating in isolation and agreed that there is need for joint efforts and identification of clear milestones as required."

Other issues that came up for discussion during the BNC included the non-recognition of vehicle third party insurance from South Africa by Zimbabwe and that the fees for the same were significantly increased without notification.

As such, it was agreed that meetings should be held in South Africa by the end of April 2019 where the respective players and stakeholders would identify solutions.

It was further agreed that there should be another meeting by the end of May 2019 to address challenges of the third party insurance requirements where all relevant institutions should be invited.

Under the Sadc Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, it is a requirement for member states to harmonise these requirements and also recognise the existing documents and systems of other member states.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF yesterday hailed the holding of the third BNC.

In a statement, Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said: "The party greatly appreciates that the two Presidents underscored the existence of close and friendly bilateral ties deeply rooted in shared history and culture, sustained and nourished through growing economic partnership as well as vibrant people-to-people contacts. The party further hails the agreement between the two countries to work together towards re-engagement with the International Co-operating Partners in support of Zimbabwe's economic reform and Debt Arrears Clearance Agenda in order to transform the country's economy."

"Zanu-PF expresses great appreciation for the unwavering commitment by the government and people of South Africa, mostly importantly the South African President His Excellency Cyril M. Ramaphosa, for standing shoulder to shoulder with Zimbabwe in calling for the unconditional removal of illegal and unwarranted sanctions imposed by the West which are stifling the country's economic recovery initiatives."

Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF had goodwill and confidence that South Africa would successfully conduct its elections in May this year and wished the ANC victory.

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