• August 12th, 2020

Vioolsdrift border post reopens

Steven Klukowski

Panic that erupted at the South African side of the Vioolsdrift border since Tuesday has been restored with the reopening of the border late on Wednesday night.

Immigration officials at the border post, according to a report by a South African newspaper decided to close the gates Tuesday evening for reasons of inaccessibility to water.

A clearing agent at the site said the volume of trucks carrying essential goods rapidly increased at the border post.  
“The main issue is it seems the department of water knew about the issue, apparently for a few months, but they haven’t done anything about it,” the newspaper quoted a source who preferred anonymity. 

The report further stated that both officials and visitors as a result could not access fresh drinking water, ablution facilities and bathrooms. 
This apparently irked the officials to take these drastic measures, as they could also not conform to the Covid-19 measure of handwashing as the result of lack of water.

According to the agent, this clearly demonstrates the South African government’s apathy towards the situation as it could have easily dispatched a temporary water tanker to the site.
The paper reported truck drivers endured the most suffering.

 It went on that these trucks used diesel to keep their produce fresh and they had to detour for over 100km to nearby depots to fill up again.
The agent also indicated that the border has been quite during the level five lockdown period, but became much busier with the introduction of level four two weeks ago. Almost 200 trucks pass through the border post daily.  
When approached for more clarity David Indongo, Namibian Police Force //Kharas regional commander said it has been business as usual on the Namibian side of the border post during the said period.  He further confirmed that the South African authorities have now resolved the issue and that the border post was reopened.

“Since the closure lasted only few hours, it does not really have a significant impact in terms of the delivery of essential services into Namibia,” said Indongo.
He further said truck drivers were advised during the closure of the border post to divert to Ariamsvlei as a means to enforce normal cross border operations. 
He said fears of the closure spreading to other South African border posts does not exist anymore, according to information provide by that country’s authorities. -sklukowski@nepc.com.na

Staff Reporter
2020-05-15 10:05:39 | 2 months ago

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