In a move to stop the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the Department of Home Affairs announced on Monday that it would be revoking 8 339 visas from China and Iran with immediate effect.
Speaking at a briefing in Pretoria, Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the only way to limit the spread of the virus was by prohibiting people from high-risk nations from entering the country.
“The only way to stop people from coming is through visas.”
Additionally, citizens from nations such as France, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the USA will need to provide health certificates ensuring they have been tested and cleared of Covid-19 before being allowed entry into the country.
The announcement comes following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on Sunday night, where he labelled the outbreak a “national disaster”.
During his speech, Ramaphosa implemented numerous travel restrictions, including shutting down 35 of the country’s 72 land borders.
Two seaports, Saldanha and Mossel Bay, have also been closed.
Officials stationed at the various affected border posts will now be transferred to assist at unaffected crossings, particularly the one between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Motsoaledi said Beitbridge border post would never be closed as it was South Africa’s gateway into the rest of the continent.
Furthermore, the department stated that special focus would be placed on the Lebombo (Mozambique), Oshoek (Eswatini), Kopfontein (Botswana), Maseru and Ficksburg (both Lesotho) posts. – Bjorn Vorster