The decision by the South African government to close 20 land border posts has sparked a debate among different sectors of society.
Border posts affected include one with neighbouring Zimbabwe, Beitbridge, which means many Zimbabweans who depend on coming to SA for economic activity will have to wait a while longer until the government reviews the decision announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night.
Ramaphosa, during his address to the nation, announced that 20 of the country’s border posts will be closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Over the past weekend, Zanu-PF spokesperson Tafadzwa Mugwadi threatened to leak a bombshell about the motivation behind the governing African National Congress’ (ANC) visit to Zimbabwe during South Africa’s hard lockdown.
Ramaphosa said the ANC delegation met with the organisation’s ally – hoping that Mugwadi would be willing to expand on his assertion.
Ramaphosa says, “I am sure that he (Mugwadi) will be willing to share that with the ANC and with all of us. We sent a delegation as the ANC to Zimbabwe because Zanu-PF is a sister party to us; we have deep and strong links with Zanu-PF. It was one to express concern and find out what’s happening, to see the extent to which we can be supportive and also fully understand precisely what is happening…”
The the video below, a political analyst says land border closures were largely expected:
ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe added saying the ANC’s relationship with Zanu-PF has been characterized by threats and blackmail.
Political analyst Prof Mcebisi Ndletyana says South Africa has been hamstrung while accepting Zimbabwean government’s unfair relations.
Ndletyana says, “South Africa is now forced to accept impropriety, illegality, unethical leadership and authoritarian governments because it has to nurse the support of SADC and OAU. It is hamstrung, you need to have governments in the SADC region that cares for its people.”
The video below is on tensions spiraling out of control between ANC and Zanu-PF:
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says if some foreign nationals feel as if their case needs special attention to enter the country, they must apply directly to his office.
Motsoaledi says, “If people don’t fall into any of the categories that I have mentioned but believe their case is strong enough. They will then apply to the Minister of Home Affairs for exemption but will have to have a copy of the passport, a copy of temporary residence visa and proper documents for requesting to enter the Republic, a number of the intended days of stay; and proof of accommodation or residence when they are inside the country.”
For now, the South African government says it will continue to do all in its power to make sure the spread of COVID-19 is controlled at all costs.
Parliament’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee visits Beitbridge border post