MBABANE:The new travel regulations imposed by the Republic of South African suggest that eMaswati are now required to pay up to E2000.00 for travel documents, transport and other costs at the border.
This comes after Naledi Pandor, the South African Foreign Affairs Minister announced that all persons entering South African will be required to produce a COVID-19 test certificate that reflect negative results, a COVID-19 test cost between E850.00 and E1,200.00 while a return trip from eSwatini to South Africa costs about E600.00.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Bambumuti Sithole, the Chairman of the Swaziland Interstate Transport Association (SITA) said many citizens who wanted to visit South Africa for business purposes came to them complaining that they can’t afford to pay for the COVID-19 clearance certificate hence they were grounded.
“Emaswati, particularly the low income group earners who are travelling to South Africa for business purposes cannot afford the E850.00 for the COVID-19 clearance certificate, they came to us asking that we engage the government on this, but the State is avoiding this issue shifting the blame to the South African government” said the Interstate Chairman.
Mathokoza Sikhondze, the Coordinator of the Informal Traders Association said the COVID-19 has been proven to be costly for the informal traders saying this means they must prepare about E2000 for a return trip.
“Most of these women who travel to South Africa for business purposes are living from hand to month and they can’t afford this huge amount” said the Coordinator.
On Thursday morning, Business Eswatini released a statement informing the public that trucks were ground at the Oshoek border over COVID-19 clearance certificate, they appealed that the matter be addressed.
“Chaos at Oshoek SA-side. Trucks coming to SD can’t get through as COVID tests needed, yet these trucks were already ‘midflight’ when the rules changed. Now a rowdy blockade has ensured, if it persists, we will run out of fuel, meds and other essentials in a few days-time, Help” read a statement released by Business Eswatini whose President is Andrew Le-Roux.