South Africa, JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday said while the department put systems in place to manage congestion at the Beitbridge boarder post, they never anticipated truck drivers to protest against strict COVID-19 regulations.
Concerns have been raised over long queues at the Beitbridge Border, which has been exacerbated by truck drivers that have abandoned their holding areas.
The border into Zimbabwe has seen travelers camping out for days making it difficult for officials to enforce regulations.
SA’s Home Affairs Minister rejects proposal for a delegation of Zimbabwean ministers to be deployed to deal with the terrible congestion at Beitbridge border post and has “urged Zimbabwe to work on its economic crisis” pic.twitter.com/aesyXnQSUs
— The Harare Times🇿🇼 (@harare_1) December 24, 2020
Traffic congestion and disruptions on the N1 between Musina and thel Beitbridge border into Zimbabwe has deteriorated this morning. Both lanes have been blocked. Traffic is exoected to increase during the day#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/abFlTOhtvN
— rudzani tshivhase (@RTshivhase) December 24, 2020
Due to the pandemic, travelers have to produce a negative test COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours before being allowed.
Motsoaledi said more law enforcement officials were roped to assist at the border post.
“We’ve sent more staff, the police and even the army to try and push them into a holding area so they can park there.”
There are now fears the situation could spill over into a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
Motsoaledi said they were looking into amending the restrictions for truck drivers.
“The truck drivers must do the test early in their companies and once a month and it will be recognised, which will make the situation much better.”
•Health minister warns SAn's of possible further restrictions, as the country records a "worrying" increase in Covid-19 infections.
•The massive Beitbridge border post traffic congestion continues. Reports of motorists being stuck for close to a week. pic.twitter.com/eA0gm4D2Li
— AwakeMzansi (@AwakeMzansi) December 24, 2020