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Zimbabweans Find Cash Access and Travel Problematic Amid the Holidays

Travelers coming from South Africa report delays of many hours at Beitbridge where an estimated 17,000 cross daily

With the Christmas holiday at hand, many Zimbabweans have found themselves in a holiday crunch with access to cash difficult and transport in many cases problematic.

Travelers coming from South Africa report hours-long delays at Beitbridge, the southern border post through which an estimated 17,000 may pass daily in the holiday season.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Transport Minister Nicholas Goche traveled to the border to assess travel conditions, promising a tranformed post come next holiday season.

Biti said the border infrastructure was in bad condition and that the govhas engaged international partners to reorganization and transform the bridge to "world class standards."

Elsewhere, numerous frustrated consumers in Mutare have found themselves without cash 48 hours before Christmas as banks overwhelmed by demand for US dollars and South African Rand exhausted their stocks of hard currency.

Many travelled from rural areas hoping to draw banknotes and make purchases, but had to return empty handed.

Studio Seven reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General Wellington Chibebe and Reheal Zimbabwe Information Officer Tsabile Dewa to discuss the holiday deadlock.

Dewa, who recently traveled to South Africa, says the conditions on the Beitbridge left much to be desired.