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MBABANE – A new digital information system to monitor and speed up cross border truck movements and driver health checks at land borders in Eastern and Southern Africa has been launched at Tlokweng Border Post in Botswana.

Trucks travelling to and from Eswatini transporting goods and trade will now be monitored at entry and exist points across all border gates. This will also revamp the truck weigh system to see of the trucks are still importing or exporting quality goods in the sufficient sizes. Minister of Public works and Transport Chief Ndluhlaza Ndwandwe afore said the country is working on upgrading the usage of roads by cross-border trucks. He said they are projects in place to improve road worthiness and systems that control the movement of transporting ferrying goods.

Part of the Team Europe’s Global Gateway initiative and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS) was funded by a €1.6 million grant from the European Union (EU) and more than €500,000 from the Federal Republic of Germany. This was mentioned by Southern African Development Community (SADC) in a statement.
SADC said CTMS has now been installed at major commercial border posts in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, along sections of three regional transport corridors, and will soon be installed in other Eastern and Southern African countries.

“Once fully operational, the system will minimise the need for paperwork and speed up border procedures, reduce waiting and transit times and allow trucks to deliver essential goods more quickly, while ensuring health and safety measures under COVID-19 protocols,” mentions SADC in the statement. Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology for the Republic of Botswana Thulaganyo Merafe Segokgo said the Corridor Trip Monitoring System has proven to be a highly effective and efficient digital solution in the management of safe cross border road transport and compliance to COVID-19 requirements by operators and drivers, and most importantly enhancing trade facilitation and movement of goods across the Southern African region and beyond.

SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo that the CTMS further enhances collaboration among and between the Tripartite members of COMESA, EAC and SADC through increased information and data sharing and standardisation of procedures, including for testing, vaccination and for mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates using a common monitoring and surveillance tool at all Points of Entry and in-country check points. “The system we are showcasing at Tlokweng will boost transport efficiency from Cairo to Cape Town,” said Mr Jan Sadek, the European Union’s Ambassador to SADC and Botswana, at the Launch. “Economic integration is in the EU’s DNA, and we are delighted to help build a transit system that will ultimately streamline trade and travel between all parts of Africa.”

The system equips border agents with hand-held devices to check, validate and register the COVID-19 health status of truck drivers and their crews, as well as the compliance of their vehicles with cross-border regulations and road safety rules. Transport operators will use a custom-made app to upload vehicle and driver health information onto the CTMS website.
This information can then be instantly accessed by authorised border and law enforcement officials in the country of destination and transit by scanning QR codes shown by drivers.
The CTMS also allows authorities and operators to monitor driver trip progression and deviations against pre-approved routes and designated rest areas. Aside from the truck drivers’ health status and road transport modules, many more functionalities could eventually be added to the system.

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