Mozambique's economy may be affected by border closure with S. Africa: minister

2021-01-13 10:05:22 GMT2021-01-13 18:05:22(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MAPUTO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Janfar Abdulai, the Mozambican minister of transport and communications, said that the partial closure of the borders with South Africa may lead to a reduction in cargo handling and affect the country's economy, Radio Mozambique reported Wednesday.

The minister expressed his concerns on his visit to the country's southern border area Ressano Garcia on Tuesday, following the neighboring South Africa's late Monday decision to close all its 20 land border posts until Feb. 15 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The transportation of goods, fuel and the return of South African nationals are still allowed.

"Our transport system in the south zone is closely related to the cargo coming from South Africa. This shutdown will affect the normal functioning of the system and, consequently, the reduction of the loads that feed our ports, I speak also of the railway lines and ports," the report quoted Abdulai as saying.

The closure involves two of the busiest borders mostly used by Mozambican travelers, namely, the border of Ressano Garcia and Ponto do Ouro.

The National Migration Service also said that the movement of entries and exits is now restricted, which means that people who had been stuck long hours and even days at the borders had to return to their homes. Enditem