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Corridor group to launch cargo tracking system

The Trans-Kalahari Corridor (TKC) group will soon introduce a vehicle cargo tracking system to enable real-time visibility and reduce irregularities while improving tax collections.

This was agreed at a meeting of the council of ministers of the corridor, held in Windhoek on 31 August, during which the TKC secretariat headquarters was also inaugurated.

The event was attended by senior government officials, port authorities, corridor institutions, road agencies and rail authorities, immigration, law-enforcement and security officers, traditional leaders and private sector members from member states.

The event also marked 20 years since the signing of the TKC founding agreement.

According to a joint statement issued by TKC secretary Leslie Mpofu, the meeting was called by Namibian minister of works and transport John Mutorwa and was attended by his Botswana and South African counterparts, Eric Molale and Sindisiwe Chikunga, respectively.

“The ministers agreed that a task force to develop a TKC model law on moving abnormal loads should be established, and noted that Namibia had signed and ratified the African Road Safety Charter, urging South Africa and Botswana to do the same,” the statement reads.

The ministers, however, said Namibia and South Africa have developed a road safety strategy in line with the second decade of action for road safety (from 2021 to 2030), while Botswana is still developing a strategy.

According to the statement, the ministers directed the TKC management committee to travel to Brazil to promote the corridor as a strategic passage to channel Brazilian exports and imports to and from the region, thereby growing volumes on the TKC.

“Among other achievements noted by the ministers are the introduction of a single customs document, the harmonisation of key transport regulations, and the development of the dangerous goods model law and its domestication by member states,” the TKC secretary says.

The ministers also applauded the development and enactment of the One Stop Border Post Act by Botswana and Namibia, as well as the signing of the one-stop border post agreement by the two countries on 9 September 2022, and the launching of 24-hour operations at the Mamuno-Trans-Kalahari border post on 1 April.

The statement says the ministers congratulated Namibia and Botswana for allowing the use of identity cards in lieu of passports to travel between the two countries, and to date 6 380 citizens have used these documents to travel from Namibia, while 6 480 used their Botswana ID cards to cross into Namibia since the programme launch on 24 February.

Mpofu said the ministers agree that the secretariat should initiate processes to harmonise port health procedures, dry port procedures, bond guarantee transit procedures and transitmonitoring systems.

“The ministers also noted the harmonisation of visa requirements with a view to establish a TKC visa, and directed further consultations with immigration authorities,” the secretariat stated, adding that the next meeting would be in South Africa.

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