Regional News Roundup

Queues at the border

Holiday travellers on South Africa’s side of the Beitbridge border had to contend with long queues during the holiday period. Some people waited for up to 12 hours to be cleared. Both those coming in and going out were affected.

Despite setting up extra three tents, authorities on the SA side could not cope with the demand. Surprisingly, Zimbabwean authorities easily managed to deal with the large volumes, with most of those going to SA spending less than 30 minutes in the queues.

The SA Home Affairs is yet to explain its failure to cope.

Death in the Limpopo

Unconfirmed reports are that more undocumented Zimbabweans are dying in the Limpopo River, as they try to wade their way to better life in South Africa. Human traffickers, Omalayisha, who spoke to The Zimbabwean this week confirmed that at least four people were being swept away by the river on each trip. The river was running very deep and angry on Thursday night, when our reporter passed through the border.

“My two-month-old child was nearly swept away when I crossed. The four-year-old one crossed safely after I was assisted by one Impisi. I paid these people R2 000 to see us safely in, but they still forced us to cross through the river, where water reached just under my chin,” said a young lady, who saw four of her fellow passengers being swept away.

“My child’s towels and clothes were torn and swept away by the tide.” No police confirmation was immediately available.

Cahora Basa overloaded

Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River in the western Mozambican province of Tete, is now being asked to supply more electricity than it can possibly generate.

HCB chairperson Paulo Muxanga told Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali, who visited the dam last Thursday that HCB is being contacted continually by companies within Mozambique and by the authorities of neighbouring countries who need more power.

Zambia, Malawi and Swaziland have all expressed a desire to buy electricity from HCB, while Zimbabwe and South Africa want their quotas increased.

Publicly owned electricity company EDM wants to increase its Cahora Bassa quota from 400 to 500 megawatts, something Muchanga says would mean reducing supply to one of HCB’s other major clients – ESKOM in SA or ZESA in Zimbabwe.

Post published in: Africa News

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