By Rex Mphisa
Travellers woes at Beitbridge Border Post continue mounting amid reports that South African authorities were rejecting COVID-19 test certificates issued by other countries including Zimbabwe, preferring to carry out their own tests.
The crisis entered its sixth day yesterday with all foreigners seeking to enter that country subjected to tests at the entry point.
“This is done at the gate before you even get to the immigration desk. This is where people are delayed. It takes about 15 minutes for the results to be out and once you are through that process, everything is fast,” a truck driver, Marvin Banda said.
It was, however, difficult to establish how many people could be tested at once although that country said it had deployed more officials to Beitbridge where a humanitarian crisis is looming due to the swelling number of foreigners seeking to cross into South Africa.
South Africa’s Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has been widely criticised even in his country for his heavy-handed approach that has seen many travellers stuck at Beitbridge despite having adequate documentation.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi recently told TimesLive, an online publication, that the human congestion in Beitbridge could cause a disaster greater than the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let our people in. They are part of us. They live here and have been living here for centuries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police yesterday dispatched three busloads of police officers to Beitbridge to help enforce the new COVID-19 restrictions.
Beitbridge residents have largely been ignoring the regulations and continuing to gather at nightclubs against the new lockdown restrictions. NewsDay.