Article by Khanyi Moshia
Neighbouring countries South Africa and Zimbabwe are largely seperated by a 225 kilometer border and now news have emerged that the South African government has erected a 40km fence between the two countries at the Beitbridge border post.
Irrespective of the South African lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 23 2020, construction and the erection of the fence commenced admist the Covid19 outbreak and despite the lockdown regulations that have been set out by the South African President..
The newly constructed R37 million Beitbridge fence at the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe has already been vandalized, and poles were allegedly stolen.
The pictures showing the damage to multimillion-rand fence have been circulating on social media, and Public Works Minister, Patrica De Lille is being scrutinized over the quality of the 40KM fence.
The Minister stated that she was aware of the vandalism at the Beitbridge border, and she reassures South African citizens that the contractor has increased security personnel.
“I am investigating the Beitbridge matter. The contractor has increased security personnel. The defence force has also deployed soldiers to patrol the border. This was a project by DPWI to secure the borders and repair and replace the fence which has been badly damaged”, De Lille said.
“I have requested that the Department of Defense increase security measures as reinforcement to protect our borders, especially during the global health crisis. For the Beitbridge border fence, we are also considering additional deterring methods such as surveillance, sensors and alarms.” – Patricia De Lille
On the 31st of March, De Lille posted pictures of the fence that would be used at the border, and a few citizens raised their concerns regarding the type of fence that was to be built.
In a video posted on Twitter, Former Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba expressed his disappointment regarding the quality of the R37 Million fence. He has called out Patricia De Lille, and said public money is still being wasted and heads must roll.
Here are some of the pictures of the damaged fence at the SA-Zimbabwe border: