South Africa was forced to temporarily close its side of the Beitbridge border over a major fault on their water supply line resulting in commercial cargo gradually piling up.

The water crisis saw the border running without water in the last 24 hours and only skeletal staff are manning the border key points.

ZTN News reports that long-distance trucks heading to either Zimbabwe or South Africa are piling up in truck stops and major highways on both sides of the border.

According to a notice sent to inter-border management committee members by South Africa Revenues Services (SARS) senior manager at Beitbridge Ms Florah Maluleke, efforts are underway to restore normal water supply services. She said:

Please note that we have no running water since yesterday, and PMC has resolved to close the Port due to the prevailing health hazards associated with this._

The Port will close at 18h00, to allow the new pump to fill up the reservoir and reopen 0600hrs tomorrow morning. The RAMP Contractor is continuing work on resolving the problem.

This is the second time the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa has been temporarily closed in the last 12 months.

Last year the border was closed for 24 hours at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when several SARS officials tested positive.

Health officials in the neighbouring country had to close the port to carry out massive disinfections.

Currently, about 1200 commercial trucks are crossing the border daily.

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