SA Opens More Border Posts: Concerns Raised After Festive Season Chaos

SA Opens More Border Posts: Concerns Raised After Festive Season Chaos

- The Department of Home Affairs has announced that it will be reopening land border posts

- The Department has signalled its confidence that this will go ahead as planned

- However, concerns have been raised over congestion following issues over the festive season

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The Department of Home Affairs has announced that it is confident that reopening land border posts will go smoothly.

The National Coronavirus Command Council has approved the move as of Monday in addition to new regulations that will attempt to limit the disorder witnessed over the festive season.

The congestion experienced at borders had been dubbed 'super-spreader' events and even slammed as a 'humanitarian crisis'.


The Department remains confident that the plans will be implemented smoothly. Image: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in conjunction with top Department officials is expected to visit key posts in order to monitor the implementation of plans to ensure smooth movement over the borders.

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The Minister is set to visit the Lembobo Border Post while Deputy Minister Ngabulo Nzuza will inspect Beitbridge and director-general Tommy Makhode will be monitoring Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg.

The posts slotted to reopen include those along Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho.

Motsoaledi noted that the orderly management of people being processed through borders was a vital part of SA's overall risk-adjusted approach to limiting the spread of the virus.

Over the course of the past month, the department increased engagements in a bid to improve coordination of efforts.

However, Road Freight Association chief executive Gavin Kelly has warned that there was a number of concerns over long queues.

Fears were raised that the borders may not be ready to handle the large quantities of people and this could prompt delays, reports IOL:

"No freight vehicles should be stuck at borders due to incapacity of the various departments."
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Earlier, reported that the Department of Home Affairs had now confirmed that the chaos at Beitbridge border post has been sorted out over the festive season.

The crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe has been making headlines with reports of numerous fatalities.

In a statement issued by the Department, it was confirmed that the border is now easily accessible:

“The Musina Local Municipality provided additional holding areas which enabled vehicles going to the border to be released to travel in manageable numbers. The municipality also provided ablution facilities and water along the route from the town of Musina to the port of entry.”

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