A few weeks ago we learnt that ZINARA had now installed Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras along the Plumtree-Mutare Highway to speed things up. It seems they are not the only ones with such a system in the works for just the same reasons. South Africa’s Revenue Services (SARS) is in the process of piloting a new Number Plate Recognition system too. The aim is to speed up trade across borders and naturally Beitbridge will be part of this program.
The NPR solution is an initiative under the customs modernisation programme and is informed by the SARS strategic objectives of making it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations, as well as to detect taxpayers and traders who do not comply, and to make non-compliance hard and costly.
In addition to improving turnaround times for arrival and exit truck management, the NPR system will further reduce opportunities for corruption, as well as assist in combating the spread of Covid-19 by reducing the use of paper within SARS Customs processes.
The Number Plate Recognition system will be piloted in Beitbridge from 28 August 2021. On conclusion of the pilot, it will be rolled out to the remaining land borders in phases.
The benefit for the South African economy is that goods and people will move through these six busiest land ports at a faster pace and more effectively and efficiently.
This will have specific and direct benefits for traders, freight carriers and all those transporting goods since the intention is that all movement through these ports will be processed once and jointly by South Africa and the relevant neighbouring country.SARS’s full statement on the development
It’s not just the Beitbridge border post that has the new NPR system. Most of South Africa’s major land borders with neighbouring countries are also trialling the new system including Lebombo (Mozambique), Oshoek (Eswatini), Kopfontein (Botswana), Maseru Bridge (Lesotho) and Ficksburg (Lesotho).
The aim of the exercise is to modernise these borders by 2025 so that they meet advanced world status. Eventually the system will remove the need for physical manifests and CN2 gate pass documents that can be a source of most processing bottlenecks at the border.