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SA to erect 40km long fence at Beitbridge Border Post to combat Coronavirus

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Beitbridge Border Post Fence

SA to erect 40km long fence at Beitbridge Border Post to combat Coronavirus. The South African government has said it will erect a 40km fence along the Beitbridge Border Post as one of the emergency measures that the government is implementing to combat the Coronavirus in the country.

Public works and infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille said the fence will be 1.8m-high and span 20km on each side of the border post, separating SA from Zimbabwe. The fence will cost an estimated R37.2m. The government has already hired the services of a contractor and the project has is due to be finished in a month’s time.

“This is to ensure that no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country and vice versa, in line with one of the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in that South Africa’s borders and ports are to be secured with immediate effect,” said De Lille.

Since the SA government declared the Coronavirus a national disaster, it has closed 35 of the 53 port of entry points. De Lille said this measure would, however, not be effective if the fences at the border were not secure and currently were found to be lacking.

She implored the Disaster Management Act for emergency procurement procedures in relation to the erection and repairs of the border fences, east and west of the Beitbridge border post.

Due to this being an emergency, the contractor has been instructed to substantially increase the number of teams deployed and the rate of delivery. De Lille stressed that this was being done in the interest of South Africans and Zimbabweans. “We are certainly not xenophobic. We have had thorough consultations with all the countries that are our neighbours,” she said.

“What is important for SA is to protect our own citizens and people coming into our country because at the border post now, you’ve got health inspectors and you’ve got environmental professionals and they are doing the testing and screening at the border. But if somebody just walks over the border, there are no such facilities,” she added.

De Lille said they already had people repairing fences around all the borders but the emergency measures were due to the high volume of people coming and leaving the country through the Beitbridge border post.

Source – iHarare

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If you suspect you have COVID-19 infection or wish to obtain more information on this disease, please call the Ministry of Health and Child Care on toll-free hotline number 2019 for assistance +263714734593 or +263774112531

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