Home Affairs increases officers at Beitbridge border

SABC News Beitbridge border - Home Affairs increases officers at Beitbridge border

Home Affairs department has increased the number of officers at the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo, as people return home.  Neighbouring Zimbabwe is set to effect a ban on non-essential business travel on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe also started hard lockdown on Saturday due to increased COVID-19 cases.

Zimbabwe placed under a full lockdown:

Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza says the number of travellers leaving the country through Beitbridge has gone down, while travel into the country is on the rise.

“We already have our colleagues from the department of health who are dealing with either screening or testing as the need will be. This is one of the interventions that the minister spoke about last week. We have got additional immigration officers, additional health professionals, we also have additional police and the army to try and make sure that we deal with the numbers that we expect. There is a plan covering from the 2nd of January until the 14th.”

Long queues

Meanwhile, travellers entering South Africa say there are frustrated by long queues on the Zimbabwe side of the border.

“It’s very, very hectic to travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa. There are too many people and there is bureaucracy around, you get into one office to the next office thee is a lot of people again,” says one traveller.

“There are long queues on the Zimbabwe side, I got here yesterday morning and was on the queue the whole day,” says another traveller.

Nyarai Masaiti (18) fears that she might spend the night at the entrance of the Beitbridge border. Masaiti has been sitting on top of her travelling bag at the gate since Monday morning as she waits for a vehicle that is travelling from Zimbabwe to come and fetch her.

The vehicle is said to be stuck in a queue in Zimbabwe.

Masaiti is afraid that if the vehicle doesn’t arrive soon, Zimbabwe’s ban of non-essential business travel will make it impossible for her to get home in Chiredzi.

“I am waiting for a car that is coming from Zimbabwe. Now that there is a lockdown there, I don’t know if the car will be able to get here.”

The SABC speaks to those at Beitbridge Border Post affected by the Zimbabwe lockdown:

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