The Democratic Alliance has blasted the Cyril Ramaphosa led government for erecting a 40km border fence in Beitbridge to stop Zimbabweans from crossing into South Africa illegally and said the taxpayers’ funds were misplaced as they could have been put to better use than erecting a washing line, The Standard reports.
Democratic Alliance’s Samantha Graham-Maré said:
South African taxpayers have forked out a whopping R37 million for what is effectively a ‘washing line’ to keep Covid-19 from reaching South Africa from Zimbabwe.
Almost R1 million per kilometre was spent on a 1.8-metre-high wire fence meant to halt illegal border crossings into South Africa along the Beitbridge border post. It would have ensured that kilometres of fencing stolen for animal kraals around the Beitbridge border area would have been replaced and restored.
Regrettably, within days, pictures emerged of gaping holes in the new fence. Reports of stolen fence posts followed. What sort of border fence did we procure that required its own security?
What quality of material was used that it can barely withstand a wire-cutter, and who drafted the specifications for this fence? A game fence on an ordinary game farm stands between 1.8 metres and 2.4 metres high
If the purpose of the fence was merely a temporary cessation of the influx of illegal immigrants to protect our populace against Covid-19, then perhaps the fence built would have been sufficient.
But it was not. It has been hailed as the new border fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Sadly, minister de Lille’s fence is a R37 million band-aid on a bullet wound. If we are going to protect our borders, we need a ‘snake of fire’, not a washing line costing almost R1 million per kilometre.
In March, South Africa announced it would erect a 40KM fence to try and stop Zimbabweans from illegally crossing into South Africa and possibly spread the deadly coronavirus.
More: The Standard