The 40km long fence built by the South African government on its border with Zimbabwe at a cost of 37 million Rand will not be repaired.
This was said by South Africa’s minister of public works and infrastructure, Patricia de Lille while responding to questions in the National Assembly on Friday.
The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) had recommended that the 1.8m tall fence – jokingly referred to as the “washing line” because of its poor quality and the ease with which it can be breached, should be repaired.
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According to SowetanLive, De Lille told South African Parliamentarians that an accounting officer had performed a detailed technical condition assessment of the fence and the outcome was that the structure was simply not worth repairing. She said:
As the fence, in its current form, is not fit for purpose and in material non-compliance with the specifications, the department has taken a decision not to entertain the possibility of any further repairs of the fence.
Any further border fence initiatives will be located in the context of the integrated border management solution underway. In this regard, the site clearance process is aimed at being completed by June this year.
The fence, consisting of six rolls of coiled razor wire and a razor wire grid, was erected over three weeks by Magwa Construction.
An investigation by authorities revealed incompetence and wrongdoing in the construction and recommended disciplinary action against 14 government officials.