The 40 km borderline fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe at the Beitbridge border crossing was completed on April 20, after undergoing 29 days of repairs and the replacement of some sections.
At a value of over R37-million, the project involved the repair and replacement of an existing borderline fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe as a result of the need for additional vigilance to prevent illegal crossings amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).
Following the completion of the fence, DPWI director-general Advocate Sam Vukela issued a letter to the Department of Defence (DoD) secretary Dr Sam Gulube, dated April 27, stating that the DoD is required to intensify patrols along the South Africa / Zimbabwe border fence in line with completion of the project.
In addition, an agreement between the DPWI and the DoD will be formulated to clarify the roles and responsibility of the two departments with the borderline infrastructure.
The DPWI also recommends the development of a military alliance or treaty between South Africa and Zimbabwe to manage illegal crossings, as South Africa’s borderline infrastructure is only as good as the country’s ability to manage illegal crossings.
To ensure the sustainability of the new fence, the DPWI is formulating an appropriate preventive maintenance solution.
The fence was built at a cost of R850.66/m, which is in comparison to typical game fences costing about R200/m and 3 m high-security fences costing about R4 200/m.