By Thandiwe Garusa
ATLEAST four truck drivers died of suspected exhaustion Thursday at the Beitbridge border post while waiting to be cleared to cross into Zimbabwe.
Traffic at the border post has been at a standstill for the past few days.
In an interview with the South African broadcaster eNCA, CEO of the Road Freight Association Gavin Kelly confirmed the death of four truckers.
Said Kelly, “The circumstances are that trucks standing in queues that are 20 kilometres long on the side of the border, the guys are sitting in their trucks because they can’t leave them for a number of reasons.
“First of all, they can’t leave the trucks unattended; secondly, if they leave the trucks, someone will take their place.
“Temperatures at something like 43 to 44°C, the guys do not have access to water, they do not have food and ofcourse there are no toilets, it’s a pitiful state of affairs.
“Sitting right here, I cannot believe what’s happening. We know that every year becomes a cluster point where people try to get from South Africa up north to their countries, Zambians, Zimbabweans, Malawians you name them.
“All of them trying to get through that border post. So, we know that happens. So, we should be prepared for that.”
Kelly also said the relevant authorities should have prepared for this because they knew there was going to be such a mess.