One of South Africa’s busiest border posts has been overwhelmed by the amount of Zimbabwean citizens crossing over through Beitbridge, and into Limpopo. The influx of citizens from our neighbouring nation has caused havoc on Tuesday, as hundreds of immigrants are still waiting to be processed by the authorities. Hundreds of Zimbabweans flood into SA amid Beitbridge chaos
ZIMBABWEANS LEFT WAITING AT SA CROSSING
A perfect storm of lockdown restrictions on either side of the border has prompted scores of Zim nationals to escape. On Monday night, the Mnangagwa Administration confirmed that all international travel would be banned in the country.
Meanwhile, the curfew in South Africa begins at 21:00 and ends at 6:00 – many of those who chose to flee were kept waiting at Beitbridge overnight. That nine-hour delay has caused a very serious backlog, and videos from the scene taken earlier this morning show large crowds huddled together in small spaces… which is hardly ideal during a pandemic.
WATCH: BEITBRIDGE BORDER PACKED-OUT BY ZIMBABWEAN NATIONALS
This is the situation this morning at the Beitbridge border.
These Zimbabweans are now on the South African side of the border waiting to be processed so that they can be let out to proceed to South Africa.
This is a sign of how desperate Zimbabweans are due to the economic mess pic.twitter.com/KlkYM2D9E7
— Hopewell Chin’ono #TheGoatWantsItsCameraBack (@daddyhope) January 5, 2021
MAINTAINING LAW AND ORDER IN BEITBRIDGE
Meanwhile, dozens of ‘border jumpers’ have been thwarted by law enforcement officials. Several groups attempted to cross the Limpopo River to dodge the queues and avoid any scrutiny with their paperwork. Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi revealed that up to 50 ‘fake COVID-19 tests’ had been identified by Beitbridge authorities.
Despite two curfews, a Zimbabwean travel ban, and requirements for travellers to prove they are COVID-negative, the crowds that have amassed at the border with Limpopo perfectly summarise the desperation felt by these immigrants.