Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

All South African border posts will be closed to the movement of people while SA is in lockdown for 21 days.

SA is now in a national state of disaster in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus which has spread at a rapid rate across the world and of which SA has not been spared.

The decision to ban all movement of people at all the borders posts is an escalation of earlier measures taken by the government that will govern the lockdown.

The country is set to go into lockdown at midnight on Thursday.

On Wednesday, home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the remainder of SA’s border posts,  of which only 18 were left open after strict regulations were enforced last week,  will close when the country goes into lockdown.

He said 35 border posts were closed when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the state of disaster last week, but that the remaining 18 border posts will now only continue moving food and essential goods only.

He said the department of home affairs would continue functioning with a skeleton staff, and would only issue temporary IDs and replacement birth certificates.

He said the reason these documents would be issued was because it was safe to do so, given that the person is already on the system.

He said the department would also issue death certificates.

“We don't issue passports at all because there's no movement of people,” Motsoaledi said.

He said there would be no new IDs issued, as well as no new birth certificates and no new marriage certificates in the 21 days of the lockdown.

He said  the government printing works, which falls under home affairs and among others prints government gazettes, will remain working with a skeleton staff.  

Dealing with the issue of fake news, Motsoaledi revealed that criminal charges would be laid against three people in relation to false information shared about Chinese nationals crossing the border into SA from Mozambique.

“I want to state here that this fake news tends to be more dangerous than the virus itself,” Motsoaledi said.

He said it would be a test case to see whether someone could be charged for spreading fake news or not.

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