South Africa will reopen 20 land border crossings to allow normal travel, lifting restrictions which formed part of wide-ranging measures to slow the spread of surging coronavirus infections, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Saturday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Jan.11 that 20 land border posts coming into South Africa will be closed until February 15 under adjusted level 3 lockdown directives.
Ramaphosa cited these as hotspots for transmission of the virus as they are heavily congested.
Motsoaledi said and border points, including those with Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana, would reopen.
The reopening plan includes a crackdown on fake Covid-19 test certificates.
Any person presenting themselves at any of the borders with fake Covid-19 certificates will be denied entry and barred from visiting South Africa for a period of at least five years, Motsoaledi warned.
“The active and orderly management of people through our borders is an important part of the country’s overall risk-adjusted approach to control the spread of Covid-19.”
151 deaths in the past 24 hours
Motsoaledi will be at the Lebombo border post on Monday, Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza at Beitbridge and Director-General Tommy Makhode at Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg on Monday when the land ports of entry reopen.
South Africa has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths on the African continent, with more than1.4 million cases and over 47,000 deaths.
The country has been hit hard by a second wave of infections linked to a new variant called 501Y.V2 identified in South Africa late last year.
South Africa’s Covid-19 recovery rate is now sitting at 93% with 151 more deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
According to the daily statistics released by the Department of Health, 31 149 new tests were conducted in the past 24 hours with 2 382 new infections recorded.