The South African government will erect a 40-km barrier on the border with Zimbabwe to prevent migrants from entering the country without documentation.
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"The fence will also stop the spread of the new coronavirus in the country," Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille said, even though no Covid-19 cases have been detected in Zimbabwe.
The fence will be erected at Beitbridge, a border town in Matabeleland South Province. The construction of this barrier will be completed within a month.
"We are not xenophobes. We wish to protect the citizens of South Africa and those who visit us with their papers in order," she stressed.
To contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa closed borders at 35 of 53 land entry points.
"This measure will not be effective without a physical barrier. Although there are inspectors at each border point, the health status of migrants arriving in the country illegally is not known," he said.
South Africa, the most industrialized country on the African continent, has reported more than 202 Covid-19 positive cases. So far, it has not recorded any deaths.