May 11, 2012
Dar Es Salaam|Doha|DURBAN|Africa|African Development Bank|Environment|Industrial|Risk Management|Systems|Trucks|Africa|Qatar|South Africa|Zambia|Zimbabwe|USD|Products|Systems|Walvis Bay|Infrastructure|Mthuli Ncube|Rob Davies
© Reuse this
The latest version of the South African government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan also highlights how further regional integration is key to meeting South Africa’s industrial policy aspirations.
Development integration itself is premised on a growing awareness that trade barriers do not represent the main impediment to raising Africa’s intraregional trade and investment levels. Instead, the key constraints relate to weak physical infrastructure linkages that decrease the opportunity for trade in complementary value-added products.
It is also widely accepted that border posts and checkpoints are a key bottleneck, a point reaffirmed in a recent paper by African Development Bank chief economist Professor Mthuli Ncube.
The paper shows that trade liberalisation efforts have helped to raise the volume of trade within the Southern African region from $12.4-billion in 2000 to $34.5-billion in 2010, after peaking at $36-billion in 2008.
However, the large number of border posts and roadblocks along the key corridors (Dar es Salaam, Walvis Bay, Beira and the north–south corridor through Durban), together with inefficiency of procedures, are costly to traders. “For instance, traders/trucks have to wait about 36 hours at the South Africa-Zimbabwe border post (Beitbridge),” Ncube laments, adding that customs delays in the territory are costing the region about $48-million a year.
“The customs environment in the regional grouping is characterised by a lack of coordination among the multiple government agencies on both sides of the border. This raises the common challenge of the duplication of procedures at each border, which increases the potential for risk management and fraud.” There is also a lack of computerised customs management systems, while such systems are not compatible when they do in fact exist.
The solution, the paper states, lies in one-stop border posts, whereby people and products make a single stop and pass through simplified and harmonised customs and immigration procedures. “One-stop border posts do not only facilitate the movement of goods and persons by reducing the bureaucracy and clearance times at the borders, they also enhance trade by reducing the high cost of trading emanating from delays, bribes, and cumbersome procedures at border posts.”
Ncube concludes by making the case for a one-stop solution at Beitbridge, while highlighting the gains that have been made at the Chirundu one-stop border post between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
I couldn’t agree more and hope that such a solution is rolled out soon and not only at Beitbridge, but also across the Southern African region.
Edited by: Terence Creamer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Editor
Other Editorial Insight News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.