By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2020-03-17
HOME Affairs Principal Secretary Nhlanhla Nxumalo has announced the closure of six border gates with the Republic of South Africa.
The closure of the six of the country’s 11 border gates follows the decision by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday to close 35 of such border gates in order to manage the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The closed borders are as follows; Sicunusa (Emahlatini), Gege (Bothashoop), Salitje (Onverwacht) Lundzi (Waverley), Sandlane (Nerston) and Bulembu (Josefsdal).
Nxumalo revealed that those that remain open are the main borders such as; Ngwenya, Matsamo, Mananga, Lavumisa and Mahamba. Botswana had 13 borders closed, whilst the rest were Namibia (4), Lesotho (9) Mozambique (3) and Sea Ports (2). Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo has called for Emaswati not to panic as closing of border gates leading to and from Eswatini will not have much negative impacts on the country.
The minister was speaking on EBIS radio yesterday morning during the breakfast show ‘Letishisako’.
Minister Khumalo stated that the listed border gates will be closed as they do not have much traffic. He pointed out that the country’s major business ports; Ngwenya, Mananga and Lavumisa will remain open.
Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku accompanied by Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi visited a number of the informal crossings and smaller borders to assess the activity there. Their assessment was that those ports of entry were busy and necessary for the communities and government was to provide contingency plans to ensure that people crossing there were screened. But Ramaphosa’s decision meant that these plans would now have to be shelved.
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