Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) welcomes the resolution by cabinet for the phased reopening of border posts beginning on December 1.
Cross-border traders have been severely affected by the border closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown measures and many of our members are looking forward to trying to restart their trade.
We do, however, express concern that there is lack of information on the modalities of the reopening beyond the announcement that it would begin with access for pedestrians and private vehicles. There is the contentious issue of the previously announced US$60 Covid-19 certificate which was said to be valid for two days, a length of time not feasible for those intending to do business in Johannesburg or further afield. The cost of the certification is also beyond the reach of many.
Whilst we do not seek to downplay the Covid-19 pandemic, which is very much still with us, it is Viset’s contention that government engages all stakeholders in ensuring that there is adequate information as well as practical steps that guarantee that there is no compromising in the fight against the pandemic by some who may seek to sidestep formal processes due to high costs and bureaucracy.