Truck companies transporting different goods to Mozambique could lose about R10 million monthly due to delays at the Lebombo Border Post in Mpumalanga.

Apparently, truck drivers spend days before they could be cleared at the border post. They attribute the problem to a manual clearance system used on the Mozambican side.

Some truck drivers claim they have been at the border since last weekend:

Trucks are on a standstill again on the N4 toll road towards the Lebombo Border Post.

Last month, truck drivers were forced to park their trucks on the side of the N4 toll road due to protests against the delays at the border.

According to drivers, the current congestion of trucks at this border is caused by delays taking place on the Mozambican side. Mozambique customs spokesperson Fernando Tinga claims that the problem is caused by truck owners who do not give money to their drivers to pay for temporary import permits.

“Sometimes the drivers must wait for four hours until the guy from the truck company comes to pay. But if they have the money themselves to pay, the process could be quicker.”

However, truck drivers say the use of a manual system to process their clearance is to blame.

“We arrived here on Saturday and today it is Tuesday and I have not had even one load. The cause of the delay is there in Mozambique. We are many and they don’t even have sanitisers and they don’t follow the protocols. South Africa is fine but the problem is on the side of Mozambique. It looks like the people of Mozambique don’t care. On the side of Mozambique, they are using manual systems, they want to fill the form by hand and then process it in the computer, so it is taking time.”

Speaking on behalf of different truck companies, CEO of Coalescence Consulting, Barbara Mommen says the truck owners are losing millions of rands due to this problem. She says this would also have a negative impact on the economy of the two countries.

“It’s hard to quantify but depending on the size of the fleet you can look at the monthly loss per let say 100 trucks at about ten million rands a month. What that does is really jeopardise the competitiveness of the corridor to trade internationally. Number two it, jeopardises jobs and our economy.”

Mommen believes opening the Lebombo Border Post 24 hours a day could be a better solution.

Truck drivers say the current situation compromises their safety.