South African side of the border looks like informal settlements while other countries’ side looks like Sandton- Motsoaledi
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
SOUTH Africa has set plans in motion to upgrade six major ports of entry including the Beitbridge Border Post which handles more than 7 million travellers annually, a cabinet minister has said.
South African Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi told the media in Pretoria today that he has since got the full support of the Ministry of Finance Mr Enoch Godongwana to start with the projects.
The six earmarked ports of entry are: Beitbridge – Zimbabwe, Lebombo – Mozambique, Maseru Bridge – Lesotho, Ficksburg – Lesotho, Kopfontein – Botswana and Oshoek – Eswatini.
“When I delivered my speech at the Budget Vote, on 17 May this year, I announced my gratitude at the approval granted by Finance Minister, Mr. Enoch Godongwana for the Department of Home Affairs to issue the Request for Proposal to the market for the redesigning and redevelopment of our top six busiest Ports of Entry,” said Dr Motsoaledi.
“South Africa’s ports of entry were designed during the apartheid era with the primary objective of tightened security whilst neglecting the effective facilitation of regional and international trade.
In fact, ladies and gentlemen, it is not an over-exaggeration to state that when you visit our land ports of entry, between us and our SADC neighbours, the South African side of the border looks like informal settlements while the other side looks like Sandton.”
He said since the advent of democracy, there has been an exponential increase in the number of people moving between South Africa and the countries in the region.
Dr Motsoaledi said the volume of regional and international trade has similarly increased.
As a result, he said South Africa’s land ports of entry are very congested and that continues to stifle trade instead of enabling it.