Beitbridge traffic congestion: Ministers meet

By Enrico Maduba Mnoko
South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and his  Zimbabawe counterpart, the minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage,  Kazembe Kazembe, yesterday met at the Beitbridge border post to discuss a number of issues, including the intervention plan on traffic congestion at Beitbridge border post.
“The reason this meeting was convened, is because we are aware that every December, there is an upsurge of people passing through the Beitbridge border but this year, there is an additional problem of covid-19.” he said.
He said some of the issues discussed, included ways on how to combat corruption and congestion at both sides of the border.
Minister Motsoaledi, said, as home affairs minister, he was well aware of most of the activities at the Beitbridge border post.
He said the Beitbridge border post was porous and that some government officials from both sides of the border were corrupt and hence his government’s decision to establish an anti-corruption branch. 
He added, “During Christmas time people want to be home with their relatives but that does not mean the border rules will be relaxed. If you have Covid-19, you will not be allowed to enter South Africa.”
Minister Motsoaledi expressed concern over the shortage of people who will be stationed at the Beitbridge border to monitor and conduct Covid-19 checks on travelers. 
However, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum chairman, Gabriel Shumba, said the meeting was a waste of time since they never discussed important issues.
He said the two ministers, should have discussed issues related to prices of Covid-19 documents, passports, and permits for Zimbabweans in South Africa.
He also suggested that the two ministers should have addressed the issue of xenophobia and the ill-treatment of foreigners by some local South Africans.
Minister Motsoaledi said of late, soldiers, police and immigration officers at the Beitbridge border post have been returning illegal immigrants who have been taking advantage our ‘our porous border”.
Last week Tuesday, the South African National Defence Force returned over 100 Zimbabwean nationals who had attempting to illegally enter into South Africa.
During the beginning of this year, the South African Government erected aR37 million border fence, in an attempt to prevent illegal immigrants into South Africa, and the spread of covid-19.

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