Hello Mozambique! Hello South Africa!

It’s been a while since I last wrote about my adventures & misadventures at the Ressano Garcia border. Since Mozambique side updated the passports control system, one would expect more efficiency and a trouble free experience. Wrong! In reality, things changed very little.

Mozambique and South Africa have to recognize that Ressano Garcia is not only used by mukeristas (small dealers). Tourists don’t want to start or end their holidays at bazaar-like borders!

Both sides show more interest in terms of informing travelers about their duties than their rights. Here the champion is South Africa with its masquerade of tax refunding, with hordes of mukeristas demanding 100, 200 or 300 rands back, while tourists and heavy spenders are forced to forget the refund mirage in order to avoid facing a chaotic service.

Despite spending a lot in South Africa, we never asked for tax refund. Sometimes we even joke about being obedient contributors to the South African revenue. We are forced to be! Paul estimates our contribution in the order of thousands and thousands. It’s too difficult to say, but surely enough to buy a place in Rosebank. I also believe that more than 80% of taxes are not refunded and that is benefiting South Africa in millions and millions of rands.

I suppose it’s collecting time on the other side of the border again, because the traffic control officers resumed their old tricks to catch unaware Mozambican drivers. It’s hard to run an African country these days! Newspapers report that on a daily basis. I can even understand the adventures & misadventures of running a country but at the same time I wonder why do we have to pay taxes in South Africa when Mozambique is a country much more in need?

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