Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday announced measures to bolster South Africa’s borders as the country ramps up its battle against COVID-19.
Speaking at a media briefing, Motsoaledi said that his department would deploy an additional 160 officials to six of the country’s busiest ports of entry to manage a high influx of people moving in and out of SA.
His department has come under fire following days of congestion at the Beitbridge border post. The minister blamed the congestion on the freight industry.
Motsoaledi said that he hoped that common sense would reign supreme between the authorities and the freight industry, saying that plans were approved to ensure tighter controls at the country’s borders.
The minister said that Beitbridge, Lebombo, Oshoek, Maseru, Ficksburg, and Kopfontein were the six points that would receive extra attention in the coming days.
“Only truck drivers are exempted from this test requirement. And this was the case right at the beginning of the lockdown that we have never bothered truck drivers about this test,” Motsoaledi said.
That would include immigration law enforcement officials, contract personnel, and representatives of the Department of Health.
Motsoaledi said that part of the teams being deployed would assist the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the borders.
“At identified high-risk areas along the borderline where people have a tendency to cross illegally into South Africa,” he said.
He said that there would be no entry into the country without an authentic COVID-19 test.
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