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Trucks enter after hold up at Pioneer border

PAULINE DIKUELO TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Trucks enter after hold up at Pioneer border PIC. PHATSIMO KAPENG
Truck drivers bringing goods from South Africa into the country were this morning stuck at the South African border after initially being denied entry into Botswana.

This comes after Acting President Slumber Tsogwane announced that Batswana and residents arriving from other countries will be quarantined for 14 days.

One of the truck drivers, Meshack Khwene told Mmegi at Pioneer border that they had been waiting since 6am to enter the country.

"We have been waiting at the South African border for hours after being denied entry. They just let us come through after lunch saying that they were waiting for the memo from the relevant authorities," he said.

Lobatse District Health Management Team head, Boipelo Lecoge admitted that there was confusion earlier, noting that it has since been cleared. She said Batswana and residents are allowed entry into the country and will be quarantined for 14 days at IDM school.

"Only truck drivers will be allowed entry into the country to make their deliveries without being quarantined," she said. 

However, some feel that the decision to immediately lockdown the country was radical. Dr Montoedi Matlhare expressed that government should have given them time to prepare maybe a day before the lockdown. 

"This

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morning I asked them if it's okay for us to cross the border and they gave us the go-ahead. I am now disappointed that when I came back a few hours later I’m told that the country is on lockdown and we are going to be quarantined at IDM school. I am concerned about my business and my clients because had I known I wouldn't have crossed,” he said.

Last week the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Peggy Serame told the media that they have agreed with the Ministry of Trade in South Africa that any changes in terms of the protocols and processes at the two country’s borders, including screening of goods, will be communicated between the two countries and MITI will share the same with the business community as they also need to prepare themselves.

In addition she said they have also agreed that there will be new protocols developed in terms of what happens at the border, and those will be communicated in due course.



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