Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he has intervened to ease congestion of people leaving the country through the Beitbridge Border in Musina in Limpopo, amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Many motorists, including truck drivers, were earlier stuck on the long queue from Thursday night.
The border was opened at about midday.
Motsoaledi says the congestion was caused by delays from Zimbabwean authorities due to their own lockdown rules with other countries.
He says the department had to allow everyone to pass because Musina does not have capacity to handle the situation.
In this video, Aaron Motsoaledi addresses the situation at the border:
He, however, says from Saturday no one will be allowed to leave, except trucks transporting essential goods.
“They were not being allowed on the Zimbabwean side because they were arguing that the lockdown between Zimbabwe and the neighbouring countries like Zambia and Malawi already happened at 8 o’clock last night and they said they won’t let them through because then they will stay in Zimbabwe.”
“So, I had to go to the Zimbabwean side and we negotiated. They phoned their counterparts and they have also agreed that they will open for them. Especially, because Musina is a small city. If we strictly say 12 o’clock last night and you can’t go through, then it means they will stay in Musina and they will be overwhelmed. Well, we are allowing them to go home. Immediately, when we have cleared those who are here, we close.”
Thousands of travellers are stranded at the Beitbridge border post in Limpopo between South Africa and Zimbabwe as the border was closed at the beginning of the #21daylockdown at midnight #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/NLfoyslXdE
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) March 27, 2020