Congestion Besets Botswana’s Tlokweng Border Post

botswanaMap showing border posts between Botswana and South Africa, with No.7 being the Tolkweng and No.4 the Martins Drift posts.

The temporary closure of the Martin’s Drift border post due to recent floods in the Tswapong area has resulted in the congestion of cargo trucks at Tlokweng border post.

Approaching the border from the Botswana side, there is a queue of these trucks awaiting declaration. The situation is made worse by shortage of parking space for the trucks, which at times lead to some trucks blocking way for others, hence the delay.

In an interview, the principal customs officer, Ms Monkgogi Makwati said they started receiving a large number of trucks on transit on Saturday (22 March 2014).

She said most of the trucks were from Kazungula on their way to South Africa. Ms Makwati also said trucks from South Africa were a challenge as the customs office was faced with a lot of work as goods were cleared in large quantities from that side.

She noted that Tlokweng border had always been the busiest in the country, but the current situation had made it more busy than usual. She also said the delay at the border was due to the electronic clearance system used by South Africa compared to the manual one used by Botswana, thus when the system is down, services from that side halt.

Ms Makwati, however, noted that trucks carrying perishables and goods such as medicines, gas and petrol among others were given special clearance and they do not take long at the border.

The traffic jam has not only affected services at the border, but also facilities such as toilets have started to experience some blockage while others are running out of water due to high number of people who are frequenting them.

Some truck drivers expressed dissatisfaction on the South African service of clearing noting that they had been at the border for four days without bathing. Source: Daily News Botswana

Namibia – South Africa Remains Major Trading Partner

Namibia flagSouth Africa remained Namibia’s leading trading partner, particularly on the imports front during the second quarter of 2013.

South Africa accounted for 70,1% of Namibia’s imports, followed by the Euro zone, Switzerland, Botswana and China; accounting for 3,6%, 3,5%, 2,9% and 2,8% respectively.

The remaining 17,1% was sourced from other countries such as the United Kingdom, Tanzania, United States of America, Zambia and other countries around the world, according to the September issue of the Bank of Namibia Quarterly Bulletin.

With regard to exports, Botswana, emerged the leading destination for Namibia’s exports during the second quarter. Botswana absorbed 19,6% of Namibian exports, overly dominated by rough diamonds. In the past, this position was exchanged between South Africa and the UK.

This followed a 10 year sales agreement between Botswana and De Beers that was signed in September 2011. South Africa, the Euro Area, UK, Switzerland, Angola and the US also remained prominent destinations for Namibia’s exports during the second quarter.

Namibia exported 14,4% of products to South Africa, 13, 2% to the Euro Area, 8,4% to Switzerland, 7,7% to Angola and 5,6% to the US. Countries such as China, Singapore, United Kingdom, Zambia and others also absorbed a noticeable portion of the Namibian exported commodities during the quarter under review.

Net services receipts recorded a net outflow on a quarterly and yearly basis during the second quarter of 2013, largely on account of net payments in other private services. The net services registered a deficit of N$88 million, year on year, during the quarter under review from a surplus of N$39 million.

The quarterly deficit balance was mainly reflected in the higher net outflows of other private services sub-category, which surged by four percent, quarter on quarter, to N$515 million and by 22,8% year on year. The outward movements of net services was however offset by the increased net inflows of travel services category that rose slightly by 1,1% and 11,6% quarter on quarter and year on year, respectively to N$761 million. Source: New Era (Namibia)