All South African land border posts to be opened on August 1 as Covid-19 shutdown ends

All border posts between eSwatini and South Africa will now be opened. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

All border posts between eSwatini and South Africa will now be opened. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published Jul 29, 2022


Durban - After two years of shutdown of all secondary land border posts of South Africa with neighbouring countries in the SADC region, the Department of Home Affairs has finally decided to open them again.

The 32 land border posts were closed late in March 2020 due to restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19 and the need to limit the movement of people.

During that period, only major border posts like Beit Bridge, which leads to Zimbabwe, Lebombo (Mpumalanga side) and Farazella (KZN side), which leads to Mozambique, Oshoek and Mahamba (Mpumalanga side) and Golela (KZN side, which leads to the Kingdom of eSwatini were opened.

Also opened during that period was Vioolsdrift, which leads to Namibia, the Maseru bridge, which leads to Lesotho and Skilpadshek/Pioneer Gate, which leads to Botswana.

On Friday, through a government notice, the minister of the department of home affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced that all this has changed.

“I, Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Home Affairs, hereby, in terms of section 9A of the Immigration Act (Act No.13 of 202) and Regulations 6 and 8 of the Immigration Regulations, 2014, determine the August 1, 2022 as the date on which all closed ports of entry shall be re-opened.

“And any person who wishes to enter into, transit through or depart from the Republic must do so at a port of entry,” reads the notice signed by Motsoaledi on Friday.

Among the secondary border posts that will be re-opened after over two years of no activity is Onverwacht/Nsalitje near the KwaZulu-Natal border town of Pongola. The border post leads to southern eSwatini andis mainly used by South African mining specialists working at Maloma colliery which supplies Eskom with high-quality anthracite coal.

For Lesotho-South African travellers, the Sani Pass border in the Drakensberg mountains on the side of KwaZulu-Natal will be fully opened again.

Travellers to Mozambique will benefit as the border posts of Pafuri and Giriyondo will be opened once more.

Bray and Makopong, which was among the 13 Botswana - South Africa border posts which were closed, will now be opened for use by travellers.

Alexander Bay, which links South Africa with Namibia will be among those border posts to be opened for the first time since Covid-19 struck.

The spokesperson of the South African Department of Home affairs, Siya Qoza, confirmed the latest developments.

“Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has approved the opening of borders that were closed,” Qoza said.

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