By Liz Dlodlo
Over 839 000 among them, Zimbabweans have used South Africa’s borders to travel to their countries since the start of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
South Africa’s home affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced the figures recently while outlining additional services which resumed during Alert Level 2 of the Lockdown.
”From the beginning of the lockdown on 27 March 2020 until Wednesday, 26 August 2020, our immigration officials assisted 839 004 people to cross our borders under the permissible conditions.
“Most of these people were foreign nationals who were returning to their countries and South Africans who were returning home, to South Africa,” said Dr Motsoaledi.
He added that during the same period some South Africans had also returned to their base countries.
He said they had also assisted those who were travelling for emergency medical evacuations.
The Minister said urged those who will be visiting Home Affairs offices under the resumption of services on lockdown level 2 to continue observing health protocols aimed at combating the spread Covid-19.
“They must wear face masks, maintain social distancing and adhere to all other applicable regulations.
“The banks had undertaken to continue doing all in their powers to protect staff and clients,” he said.
Dr Motsoaledi said they were resuming the offering of additional services including applications for Identity Cards or Green Barcoded Identity Documents by persons who have been issued with a Temporary Identity Certificate during the National State of Disaster, which certificates have expired.
He said they are now processing applications for first issue of Identity Card or Green Barcoded Identity Document; amendments of personal particulars and rectification of personal particulars.
In the period between 27 March and 21 August, the Minister said the Department issued 347 787 Temporary ID Certificates.
“Gauteng accounted for most of these TICs and has issued 92 597,” he said.