BlackFacts Details

Cross-border traders unveil cheaper COVID-19 testing model

THE Cross-Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe (CBTAZ) has unveiled a cheaper and affordable COVID-19 testing model for its members to enable them to resume business activity after being rendered immobile for six months due to COVID-19. BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE/NQOBANI NDLOVU South Africa, a major source market for Zimbabwean cross-border traders, has made it mandatory for travellers to produce COVID-19 clearance certificates on entering the country before from time of presentation at the border post. The certificate must show that the test was conducted less than 72 hours before presentation at the point of entry. CBTA leader Killer Zivhu yesterday said the organisation entered into a deal with private laboratories to test its members when they depart and enter the country at a single fee of US$35 ahead of the opening of the borders. Other private institutions charge as much as US$65 for a single COVID-19 test. “The major challenge is the money that is needed because a minimum of US$60 is very expensive considering that most of the people have been out of business for months since the borders were closed,” Zivhu told journalists in Bulawayo. “We have thus entered into a deal with a local laboratory to do the COVID-19 tests for our members. “We have gone further whereby we requested our minimum charge will be $35, but on this $35, they will be tested when they are going out of the country and also tested upon return on that same figure.” Zivhu could not disclose the name of the laboratory “since those in the medical fraternity are not allowed to advertise.” South Africa has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 confirmed results and deaths on the continent. Zivhu added this is the reason why the CBTA entered into a COVID-19 testing deal with private laboratories for its members who have been struggling to make ends meet following the disruption of their business following the border closures. “So, what we saw is that money is not important but the life of our members and their families and the life of fellow Zimbabweans and the life of South Africans. We needed a laboratory that can test our people at an affordable cost. “The tests will be done in all the 10 provinces, samples will be collected from recognised health centres and are now available. People can get their certificates and it’s good news to our members who have been idle for a long time,” Zivhu said.