Durban - The Road Freight Association (RFA) has welcomed the government’s attempt to address traffic congestion at the Lebombo border post.
This comes after Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her Mozambican counterpart, Mateus Magala, agreed to work together to seek solutions that will reduce traffic congestion at the border post.
The engagement was also attended by SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) CEO Reginald Demana.
Gavin Kelly, CEO of the RFA, said the Department of Transport also needed to work with other stakeholders.
“It is crucial that the Department of Transport works with Sars Customs and the Road Freight Association (RFA). Both have gone a long way in developing options to address the causes that have led to the situation at the border.”
Kelly said that it was important to support the programme and initiatives designed by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the RFA, as the solution must be long-term and not a quick-fix approach.
A 32-YEAR-OLD man who allegedly tried to defraud the Road of Accident Fund (RAF) of R5 million is expected to apply for bail.
Tubalomtandazo Butshingi has been accused of falsifying a claim in September 2020. He was arrested this week and appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of fraud.
The provincial Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) said Butshingi would appear in court again for legal representation and a formal bail application.
Explaining the charges, Hawks
“In addition, there are other stakeholders who have tabled suggestions relating to clearing vehicles through the border process – and the work done by them cannot be ridden roughshod over. It is important to involve those who daily operate across a border – not those who have no understanding of the operational challenges on a daily basis.”
Sanral said it manages the N4 leading to the Lebombo border post.
“The Mozambican National Road Administration manages the same road on the other side of the border. Queues of trucks stretching for many kilometres at the border post have had a severe economic impact, which is of concern to both governments.”
Sanral said that Chikunga, Demana and officials from the national Department of Transport took the opportunity to meet Magala and his officials on the sidelines of the 27th World Road Congress last week in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Chikunga said the South African and Mozambican governments were concerned about the negative economic impact of the congestion.
“We were instructed by respective governments to seek solutions before we meet soon again in Pretoria to assess progress in the next few weeks,” she said.
“We are aware of the challenges at that border post, with the long queues and congestion that is happening there and that the impact is not good on our economies.
“We both believe and agree that there are solutions to such challenges. We have instructed our officials to start working on solutions before we meet again in Pretoria.”
Magala said he was optimistic that the two governments could resolve the challenges and harness the economic opportunity in the Maputo corridor.
“It is a corridor for development, meaning it’s not just to transport goods from point A to B, but to establish and develop infrastructure and industries, and a range of economic activities which will create quality jobs for our people.”
Chikunga said in the meeting they had agreed to review a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
Sanral said Chikunga indicated that both countries had agreed to co-operate to ensure that the Southern African Development Community secured a seat on the International Maritime Organisation Council later this year.