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Major DRC decongestion breakthrough following Fesarta intervention

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A truck park that has caused severe congestion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been closed with immediate effect after the Congolese Government discontinued cargo scanning at Mutaka.

This has been confirmed by the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta), and follows extensive meetings with a company called MOG Consulting, acting on behalf of authorities in Kinshasa.

Chief executive of Fesarta, Mike Fitzmaurice, said cargo scanning at Mutaka between Kolwezi and Likasi in the heart of the DRC’s copper mining area was one of the reasons cross-border carriers were delayed in the DRC.

“It cost $100 to have your cargo scanned and $30 per day or part thereof to wait at the truck park until it was your turn. It caused a massive backlog in the system that came at a significant expense to transporters forced to pay for parking for every day they had to wait.”

Before yesterday’s closure of the park, waiting time for cargo-scanning was around eight days.

“You can imagine what impact this had on supply chain in and out of the DRC,” Fitzmaurice said about the important Copperbelt route.

He emphasised that the decision by the Congolese Government was “a major development in the right direction for cross-border cargo”, enabled by recent discussions in Kinshasa between MOG Consulting and Fesarta.

Fitzmaurice said MOG Consulting deserves much credit for their facilitation with the Congolese Government in relation to the situation at Mutaka.

The memorandum of understanding that was signed at the time of Fesarta’s visit to Kinshasa, he added, outlined several pressure points that impacted road freight in the DRC, including Mutaka.

“We see this as a significant shift towards clearing congestion in the DRC,” he said, emphasising that it boded well for what could be decided about resolving issues at Kasumbalesa Border Post between the DRC and Zambia, a transit that has become notorious for causing some of the worst bottlenecking in Africa.

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