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Proposed New Trucks Only Border Crossing Sparks Controversy Near Kruger National Park

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Controversy brews as South Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary, Kruger National Park, and local businesses voice opposition to plans for a new privately operated trucks-only border crossing, designed to expedite mineral exports to Mozambican ports.

The Logistics Co., indirectly owned by Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers, intends to establish this route near Komatipoort, the primary South African land crossing en route to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital.

This development would position the crossing closer to the southeastern border of Kruger National Park than the current one.

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Isaac Phaahla, spokesman for the reserve, expressed concerns about the environmental and biodiversity impact of this proposal on the Kruger National Park.

The reserve has submitted these concerns as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

The proposed border post aims to alleviate congestion at the existing crossing, where queues of lorries carrying iron ore, chrome, and coal can extend up to 30 kilometers.

This congestion has disrupted life in the town of Komatipoort, creating a bottleneck along a vital export corridor for South Africa’s mining companies.

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Logistics Co. plans to construct a parking area on Komatipoort’s outskirts, complete with immigration and customs facilities.

Additionally, they intend to upgrade existing gravel roads to connect trucks to a newly built rail terminal on the Mozambican side of the border.

Hennie Jooste, the company’s head of operations, believes that all concerns, including those raised by South African National Parks, can be mitigated to minimize the environmental impact to an acceptable level.

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