Botswana: Ramatlabama Border to Resume Operations

Kanye — The Ramatlabama border gate on the South African side, which was closed on July 5 due to COVID-19 scare, is expected to resume operations soon.

In an interview, Southern District District Commissioner Mr Mmoloki Raletobana dismissed allegations that the border gate was closed due to the ongoing truck drivers' protests in South Africa.

He noted that their South African counterparts continued to update them on the progress of their investigations and related protocols which, when finalised, will inform the re-opening of the border gate.

He said fumigation of the premises was expected this week and in the meantime truckers transporting essential services were re-directed to the Pioneer Border Gate.

On other issues, Mr Raletobana, who is also the chairperson of the District COVID-19 command centre, said illegal border crossing at villages along Molopo river was still a concern and hampered efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said between June 30 and July 7, a total of 15 people aged between One and 70, illegally crossed the border to South Africa. He said from this number, 12 were primary school pupils and so far only six of them had since returned to Botswana.

"We immediately put them on quarantine upon their return to Botswana and they will undergo the usual process to establish their COVID-19 status," he said.

The district commissioner said the command centre had resolved to request that border jumpers be accommodated at government institutions for the duration of their quarantine as compared to hotels and lodges.

This, he noted, will not only reduce the associated costs on government coffers but will also deter people from intentionally crossing the border in anticipation of luxury stays in hotels.

Meanwhile, Mr Raletobana also expressed concern at the chaos experienced at fuel stations across the district.

"People who buy petrol with jerry cans are fuelling this problem and they cause unnecessary commotion at fuel points. We shall engage the ministry officials to see how this could be addressed," he said.

Source : BOPA

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