South Africa’s newly erected border fence destroyed by border jumpers?
Even before the Zimbabwe and South African lockdown period has expired, the border jumpers have destroyed the newly erected Zimbabwe, South Africa border fence. Construction of the new 40km fence at the Beitbridge border post is going ahead despite the 21-day national lockdown.
This was revealed by General Bantu Holomisa via his Facebook page.
Holomisa said, “It could be people from outside or South Africans going to neighbouring countries to buy Liqour & cigarettes.” Holomisa said his country in future should consider enhancing fence with cameras or drones.
An article in Journal of Borderlands Studies written by Inocent Moyo concludes that , “Venda-speaking people on both sides of the border post who were “separated” when the border was drawn have always engaged in dynamic and agentive ways that defy the existence of the border,” says the article in its abstract.
“This interaction pre-dated and survived the colonial and apartheid years in the then Southern Rhodesia and South African Republic, respectively. After both countries attained independence, they have remained blind to the reality of border citizens.
“Consequently, the fact that Venda-speaking people have – against strict and successive regulatory regimes from colonial to postcolonial times—”defied” the border and continue to do so, establishes a case of their being de facto border citizens.
“This not only challenges the inflexible territoriality of citizenship at both the South African and Zimbabwean borders, but also presents a compelling case for the recognition of border citizens and the granting of easy and controlled movement based on best practices in other parts of the world.”
The fence, announced by public works and infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille just over a week ago, was to keep foreign nationals out of the country in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into SA.
“This is to ensure no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country and vice- versa, in line with one of the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa’s borders and ports are to be secured with immediate effect,” said De Lille.
The fence will cost just over R37m.
De Lille said the 1.8m-high fence would span 20km on each side of the border post separating SA from Zimbabwe.
De Lille’s spokesperson, Zara Nicholson, said on Friday construction was going ahead during the lockdown.
“Yes, construction is continuing. The contractor received a permit from the department of trade and industry to continue work on the project,” Nicholson said.