Delays Leave Commuters Stranded at Africa’s Busiest Border

Traffic over Beitbridge between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Africa’s busiest border crossing, has ground to a near standstill over the past five days, with authorities battling to process hundreds of thousands of people making their way home for the holiday season.

Delays at the border, which traverses the Limpopo river, have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, with many people failing to get the required testing to cross, and curfew restrictions resulting in early close of the posts, Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA reported. Fifteen people have died over the past week while waiting in scorching heat in lines that stretch for least 15 kilometers (9 miles), it said.

South Africa, which has the continent’s most industrialized economy, was host to about 4.2 million migrants last year, United Nations data show. Many return home for Christmas and New Year, with Zimbabwe one of the main destinations and transit routes.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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