Vioolsdrift is open again

The border post was closed for 10 hours last Wednesday, delaying the flow of essential goods into Namibia.

18 May 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The closure of two vital border crossings between Namibia and South Africa, through which essential goods and services can still be transported, has been averted after a strike action by South African immigration and custom officials was called off.

Officials at the Vioolsdrift border, which borders the Noordoewer Border Post, last Wednesday downed tools due to a lack of clean water for several hours.

This resulted in the flow of essential goods being halted for most of the day as trucks were unable to cross into Namibia.



No water

The South African department of water has known about the water supply issue for several months, but nothing has been done about it, according to TimesLive.

The South African officials apparently did not have fresh water to wash their hands, to drink, to shower or to flush toilets.

The strike action was set to continue on Thursday at Vioolsdrift while officials from the Nakop Border, which borders the Ariamsvlei Border Post, were also set to down tools and stop working.



Urgent action

//Karas police regional commander, commissioner David Indongo, wrote an urgent letter to Namibian police chief, Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, on Wednesday informing him of the situation.

Indongo said his office received reliable information from the South African Police Service that the strike would spill over to the border crossing between Ariamsvlei and Nakop.

“This office is seeking your urgent intervention in this regard as we foresee possible interference with the cross-border movement of essential goods and service to and from Namibia,” Indongo wrote.

He told Namibian Sun that the Vioolsdrift border was closed for almost 10 hours on Wednesday, finally opening again by 22:00 that night.

He said that although there was a build-up of trucks that day, they were immediately diverted to the Ariamsvlei border to avert obstructions.

The border had been quiet during the five weeks of lockdown, but had become busier in the two weeks stage two was introduced.

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