Beitbridge border fence erection not xenophobic: Patricia de Lille

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille briefing the media on procedures to repair Beitbridge border fence. Photo by Current Affairs ZA.

Patricia de Lille, the minister of Public Works and Infrastructure dismissed claims that the erection of a 40 km fence at Beitbridge border post is xenophobic.

“We are certainly not xenophobic, we have had thorough consultations with all the countries that are our neighbors,” she said.

The fence being put up at Beitbridge border post is 1,8 meters high and it will be erected for 40 km on both sides of the border post. The approximate cost is R37,2 million and is expected to be complete within one month.

Minister de Lille added that the construction of the fence is in line with one of the measures announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa’s borders and ports are to be secured with immediate effect as the country seek to combat corona virus.

“This is part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and it ensures that no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country and vice-versa,” she said.

The public works minister also said that the fence was there before, now it is being replaced and repaired.