SA builds R37m fence at Beitbridge border to curb coronavirus outbreak
Cape Town - Construction of a new fence at the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe will begin this week and be completed within 40 days, public works minister Patricia de Lille said on Thursday.
"In terms of Section 27 (2) (l) of the Disaster Management Act, No 57 of 2002, I have invoked emergency procurement procedures in relation to the erection and repairs of the border fences, east and west of the Beitbridge border post," De Lille said.
The step follows an announcement by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night, when he declared a national disaster in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, that the country's borders will be secured.
De Lille said due diligence and site inspections were conducted on Tuesday and it was established that in total 40 kilometres of 1.8-metre fencing needed to be erected, 20 kilometres on either side of the land port.
On Wednesday, a contractor was appointed and the site was being handed over to the company on Thursday to start work.
Because the fencing was needed as a matter of urgency, De Lille said the contractor had been instructed to employ additional workers locally and to work at "tenfold" the usual rate.
"All 40 kilometres of fence will be finished within one month," she said.
The project is expected to cost around R37 million.
African News Agency (ANA)