From roadblocks to border control: 5 key takes from Aaron Motsoaledi’s address

31 December 2020 - 12:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed the media on Covid-19 regulations on Wednesday.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed the media on Covid-19 regulations on Wednesday.

Additional officials will be deployed to support the defence force at identified high-risk areas along the country's borders where people cross illegally into SA.

This is according to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi, who was speaking during a media briefing on Wednesday, said the additional officials will be deployed between January 2-14 due to the expected influx of people returning from other countries.

Here are five key takes from Motsoaledi's briefing:

160 officials at SA's busiest land ports

According to Motsoaledi, 160 officials will be deployed at the six busiest land ports of entry.

“These ports are Beitbridge border post with Zimbabwe, Lebombo border post with Mozambique, Oshoek border post with Eswatini, Maseru Bridge with Lesotho, Ficksburg with Lesotho, and Kopfontein with Botswana.”

Additional 60 officers helping SANDF

He said another 60 immigration law enforcement officers would be dispatched to help the defence force.

“The immigration officers and the soldiers are not there to stop people from coming into South Africa. They are there to insist that anybody wishing to visit SA, must use the official ports of entry and produce all the requisite documentation, otherwise they simply won’t be allowed in.”

Additional port health officials deployed at all ports

Motsoaledi said the department of health will deploy additional port health officials to all ports of entry to ensure that only travellers with a valid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test are allowed into the country.

“Alternatively, those without a PCR test will be subjected to a rapid antigen test at the port of entry at their own cost. SA will not allow any traveller into the country without a valid PCR test or the antigen test for Covid-19.”

Truck drivers do not need to present any test

Truck drivers are exempt from these test requirements, as was the case at the beginning of the lockdown, he said.

“Any other traveller is warned once more that they will never be allowed in the country without producing an authentic test.”

Prepare for roadblocks

Motsoaledi said provincial authorities will also conduct roadblocks, mainly in Limpopo, the Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We wish to take this opportunity to announce that the Kosi Bay border post between KZN and Mozambique, which has been closed since the beginning of the lockdown in March this year, will be opened from January 1.”