Johannesburg - Intra-regional trade in Africa is still being hampered by poor road infrastructure, lack of regulatory harmonisation and
delays at border posts, industry players said on Friday.
Barney Curtis, CEO of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations, said vehicle and axle load limits were not harmonised, while weighbridges gave different readings.
Addressing the Nepad Transport and Infrastructure Summit, Curtis also said road operators had "serious" operating licence permit problems.
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) carriers' licence does not work efficiently throughout its region.
Curtis said road maintenance and upgrade were not managed well.
Due to increased intra-regional trade, there was greater demand for city bypass roads as traditional corridor routes that pass directly through or into towns and city centres could not handle increased traffic, he said.
"Both cities and traffic on corridors have grown considerably over the years," Curtis said. At the border posts, corruption and smuggling were on the increase, he said.
Michael Fitzmaurice, managing director of Transport Logistics Consultants, said delays at border posts were a concern.
At the Nakonde/Tunduma border in Zambia and Tanzania, there were southbound delays due to 100% physical examination of containerised loads, Fitzmaurice said.
Beitbridge in Zimbabwe lacked southbound parking and Kasumbelesa in the Democratic Republic of Congo experienced delays in customs processing of documentation, he said.
Infrastructure in Kazungula in Botswana was inadequate for traffic volumes.