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SA reopens Sani Pass border post

23 October 2020 - 11:01 By unathi nkanjeni
The Sani Pass border with Lesotho has been reopened.
The Sani Pass border with Lesotho has been reopened.
Image: 123RF/Kate O Malley

SA has reopened the Sani Pass border that connects SA with the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

The Sani Pass was opened on Thursday after minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the reopening in an update to disaster management regulations on Wednesday.

“The 18 land borders which were partially operational, will be fully operational. And the 35 land borders which were closed, will remain closed except for the Sani Pass border post which will reopen on October 22,” she said.

During a media briefing earlier this month, minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor said the reopening of ports and borders would be measured using the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on public health.

“The gradual reopening of borders and ports of entry informed by a cautious approach means that a limited number of ports of entry will be opened,” said Pandor.

“By reopening these selected ports of entry and borders, we will be guided by the epidemiological and transmission rate both in SA and travellers' countries of origin.” 

Most of SA's land borders remain closed to all traffic during the lockdown.

In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that of the 53 land ports, 35 would be shut down as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In September, Dlamini-Zuma said the 18 borders that were opened fully during the lockdown for the import and export of goods, would be allowed for the movement of people and tourists.

“The 35 land borders that were closed will remain closed. We are just opening the 18 fully so that they can take traffic for tourists and other forms of travel,” she said.