Namibia’s border operations shortened due to power outages

Niël Terblanché

Namibia’s key southern border crossing points into South Africa have been forced to operate on reduced hours due to ongoing power supply interruptions, significantly impacting travel and trade between the two countries.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security announced that Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer, and Klein Manasse border posts in the ||Kharas Region have been grappling with electricity blackouts since last Monday, necessitating a temporary adjustment in their operational hours.

In light of the power failure, the border posts, which normally operate around the clock, will now only be open from 07:00 to 19:00.

This reduction in operating hours underscores the challenges posed by the electricity outage, with services at these critical junctures now being limited to manual processing.

The move to manual operations comes as a significant setback, potentially leading to delays and longer processing times for both goods and travellers.

The Ministry issued a public notice informing citizens and travellers of the changes and the reasons behind them.

It acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the power failure and extended its apologies to those affected.

The notice reflects the government’s commitment to transparency and its efforts to mitigate the impact of the outage on cross-border movement.

Nampower, the national power utility, is reportedly working tirelessly to address the issue and restore full power to the affected border posts.

The utility’s efforts are crucial in ensuring the resumption of normal operations and minimizing disruption to the flow of people and goods across the border.

The situation at Namibia’s southern border highlights the importance of reliable infrastructure and services in facilitating international trade and travel. It also underscores the potential vulnerabilities of border operations to unforeseen challenges like power outages.

The Ministry and Nampower’s ongoing efforts to resolve the power issue are closely watched by the logistics industry, businesses, travellers, and regional stakeholders, who are all hopeful for a prompt resolution to the power supply interruption and a return to the 24-hour operations that will again facilitate the seamless movement of people and goods between Namibia and South Africa.

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