Communities in Matabeleland region have continued to benefit from the services of cross border transport operators who deliver various goods from their relatives based in neighbouring Botswana and South Africa to their door step.

At the height of the economic challenges in Zimbabwe, thousands of people particularly from Matabeleland region fled to neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Botswana in search of greener pastures.

In order to cushion their families who were left behind, the migrants would seek the services of cross border transporters who ferry groceries, property and money back home to their relatives.

Demand for this service has therefore seen the sector growing over the years.

Prince Ndlovu, who has been in the business since 2016, said his job mainly entails collecting goods from his clients either in Johannesburg or Pretoria for delivery back home.

“The charges depend of the goods I am ferrying, groceries cost a certain amount while bringing furniture down here is a bit costly. I come to Zimbabwe every week and deliver consignments to any part of the country,” said Prince.

Mrs Tsirelitso Moyo, who has four children based in South Africa, said the cross border transport operators, popularly known as Omalayitsha are providing an important service to the people of Matabeleland region.

“We are really grateful for the work that they are doing. As you can see, I have just received furniture from my son who is in South Africa. I was told Omalayitsha are coming on Tuesday and here they are,” she said.

“I am a business woman in Manama and I normally ask Prince to bring me certain products from South Africa and he has been very reliable,” another woman said.

While the cross border transporters describe the business as viable, it is however without challenges.

“Our greatest problem are the delays at the border, something really has to be done to improve efficiency there because we are in business,” said Prince.

The government, which is on a massive drive to transform the economy, has acknowledged the role that the diaspora community has played over the years in sustaining families in Zimbabwe and keeping the country afloat.