Travellers To Mozambique Advised To Exercise Caution

By Sharon Hammond

Mbombela - Travellers to Maputo, Mozambique, have been urged to exercise caution following street protests this week against a surge in basic living costs.

In a statement on Friday, CEO of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) Brenda Horne said she had been in discussions with both government and business officials who assured her that the unrest was restricted to certain pockets in the capital city and nearby Matola.

"MCLI was pleased to hear that ... business is continuing as usual in parts of Maputo and the rest of the country," said Horne.

She expressed sympathy for the poor who were feeling the brunt of drastic increases in certain basic food prices, some as high as 25 percent. The cost of fuel, electricity and water is also rising.

"This has to be seen in the larger picture of economic development and what is happening also on a regular basis elsewhere in the world.

"In spite of the recent global economic downturn, we retained a positive growth position and we are optimistic that this temporary unrest in only a very small section of the country will soon be abated with business returning back to normal in no time," Horne said.

The MCLI was established to improve trade and infrastructure like the road and rail link between South Africa and Mozambique as part of the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC). The MDC extends from Maputo through Mpumalanga to Gauteng.

The organisation is scheduled to host its biggest yet annual general meeting and open network event at the Maputo Railway Station on 29 September.

Between 400 and 600 representatives of the shipping and freight industry, as well as of transport, port operations, financial institutions, road and rail operators and trade operators are expected to attend.

Meanwhile, travellers who have any concerns about travelling in Mozambique may contact the South African High Commission in Maputo on +258 21 40 3050. - BuaNews