Victoria Falls – The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has indefinitely shelved plans to force haulage trucks to use Kazungula Bridge by denying them access through Livingstone-Victoria Falls Border Post.
The ban was supposed to be effective March 1, 2021 and the justification given was the need to reduce the volume of heavy commercial traffic into the resorts of Livingstone and Victoria Falls towns.
Four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe –meet at the Kazungula quadripoint. Botswana and Zambia recently opened a bridge at Kazungula to link the two countries, in a project that Zimbabwe declined to participate in.
A former vice-president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Mr Ozious Marange, said the ZRA’s rethink was welcome.
“We are very grateful that Zambia postponed the ban on the use of Victoria Falls Bridge by commercial trucks. They should let transporters freely choose which route to use instead of forcing them to use an expensive one,” he said.
He added that authorities should also consider a transit point at Batoka for transporters moving between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to the Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe, nearly 100 haulage trucks daily cross the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe over the Zambezi River. Most of these are 30-tonners carrying copper, coal, coke, cobalt, sulphur and other commodities to destinations that include Angola, Botswana, the DRC, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
However, tourism sector stakeholders support the proposal to induce transporters to transit through Kazungula as a means of reducing noise and air pollution in Livingstone and Victoria Falls.