Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has appealed to travellers to ensure that they have all the requisite travel documents, including valid COVID-19 tests, when they present themselves to officials at the country’s borders.
“Truck drivers should adhere to laws, regulations and agreements in place in the border area. This will go a long way in minimising congestion,” said Motsoaledi.
The call follows a Cabinet decision to reopen 20 land borders for ordinary travel on 15 February 2021. The ports of entry were closed on 11 January 2021, as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Motsoaledi will today lead the deployment of senior managers of the department to key land border posts
The Minister, including Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza and the Director-General Tommy Makhode are expected to visit the four busiest land ports to monitor the implementation of plans to process travellers through the ports.
Motsoaledi is scheduled to be at the Lebombo border post, while Nzuza will be at Beitbridge, and Makhode at Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg.
Motsoaledi emphasised that the active and orderly management of people through the borders is an important part of the country’s overall risk-adjusted approach to control the spread of COVID-19.
“In the past four weeks, the department has increased its engagements with officials in neighbouring countries, provinces with land borders and other stakeholders to improve coordination of efforts.
“The aim of these engagements was to share plans and ensure seamless movement of travellers and goods to minimise the chances of border crossings being super spreader events,” Motsoaledi said.
He also warned that any person presenting themselves at any of the borders with fake COVID-19 certificates “will be denied entry and barred from visiting South Africa for a period of at least five years.”
The list of the 20 land borders scheduled to reopen can be accessed on : http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/corona-virus-information <http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/corona-virus-information>
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