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€2m SADC-driven truck transport system prepped for rollout

A Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS), used to monitor cross-border travel by trucks in realtime, has been successfully piloted in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) regional bloc and is being readied for roll out to other blocs on the continent, including COMESA and EAC.

The system, funded to the tune of €1.6-million by the European Union (EU) and over €500,000 by Germany government, 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 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 system also allows authorities and operators to monitor driver trip progression and deviations from pre-scheduled and agreed routes and designated rest areas.

According to SADC, the CTMS has been installed at 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,” said Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration.

Botswana’s Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Thulaganyo Segokgo said the CTMS has proven to be a highly effective digital solution and underlined its value in enhancing inter-regional trade and the movement of goods.

Jan Sadek, EU Ambassador to SADC and Botswana, said the system will boost transport efficiency from Cairo to Cape Town. “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.”

According to SADC, the system is another achievement linked to the €21-million EU-funded Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Project (TTTFP).

The project is credited with the development of the Guidelines for Transit of Essential Goods during the pandemic state of emergency.

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