Mozambique: Ressano Garcia Border Closed

Maputo — The South African authorities on Wednesday announced the closure of the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post, which has been the only minimally functioning border between Mozambique and South Africa since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The closure was because a positive case of Covid-19 was diagnosed on the South African (Lebombo) side of the border. The infected person is an immigration officer. The South Africans moved to disinfect the installations on their side of the border post, and this entailed closing the border to all movement.

The Mozambican authorities took this opportunity to disinfect the Ressano Garcia premises. A statement from the Mozambican National Immigration Service (SENAMI) told all would-be travellers, of any nationality, not to go to the Ressano Garcia border until further notice.

South Africa closed its border with Mozambique as part of the drastic measures taken under the lockdown decreed to halt the spread of Covid-19. Normal cross border traffic halted, but essential goods traffic continued to flow across the border, and individuals could cross for medical or educational purposes. Mozambicans returning to their jobs in the South African mines have also been allowed to cross.

But even this has now come to a halt, and no date has been fixed for re-opening the border. Mozambican Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo minimised the problem. She said, on Wednesday night, that the closure was merely temporary, and purely for health reasons.

From her contacts with the South Africans, Macamo believed that the border post would re-open on Thursday afternoon “or, at the latest, on Friday morning”.


Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique