SA’s power cuts hit travel at busy Zimbabwe border

Nick Mangwana

HARARE – South Africa’s record power outages are stifling travel across the bridge between the country and Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s busiest inland borders.

Queues at Beitbridge, a major economic and migrant route for Southern Africa, were reported as more than 4km long on Tuesday. Rolling blackouts imposed by struggling state power utility Eskom were to blame, as “passports could not be scanned”, according to Nick Mangwana, Zimbabwe’s secretary for information and publicity.

The bridge across the crocodile-infested Limpopo River is notorious for lengthy queues even when functioning properly, especially during the Christmas holidays when thousands of Zimbabweans travel home from SA. On average, about 25,000 people pass through the border daily, according to the Zimbabwe government.

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