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State to consider extending border post hours

GOVERNMENT is considering extending hours of operations at Katima Mulilo border post to accommodate the increase in trading activities, Western Province permanent secretary Mwangala Liomba has said.
Currently, operations are conducted from 06:00 hours to 18:00 hours daily but sometimes trucks and passengers are not cleared on time resulting in slow facilitation of trading activities.
In an interview, Mr Liomba said completion of rehabilitation works on the Sesheke-Senanga and Kaoma-Kasempa-Solwezi roads will shorten the distance to North-Western Province from Walvis Bay.
“We expect an increase in traffic volumes for both passengers and cargo once some road works are completed.
“We expect copper from the mines in North-Western to be ferried through this border post hence, Government will consider various options including extending operating hours so that the border can close at 20:00 hours or 22:00 hours,” he said.
He said another option being considered to ensure smooth trading activities is establishing the one-stop border post that will enable traffic to be cleared once on either side of the border.
Meanwhile, Sesheke district commissioner Cecilia Limwanya said road infrastructure should be maintained constantly to ensure that the Katima Mulilo Bridge remains a transit hub in the SADC region.
“We also need to construct new roads linking Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola to this project. The operation period for the border both on the Zambian and Namibian side needs to be revised upwards in order to fully maximise the potential of the bridge infrastructure [and] this way, we will be moving towards a common future as a region,” she said.