Ministers to meet over border crisis

Ministers to meet over border crisis

MASERU – THE Ministries of Home Affairs of Lesotho and South Africa are meeting tomorrow in Bloemfontein to discuss possible solutions to the perennial delays at the Maseru Bridge Border. Lesotho’s Home Affairs principal secretary ’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie confirmed the meeting.
Lemphane-Letsie said initial indications are that the problem is with the South African side of the border but Lesotho hopes to get more clarity on the situation at the meeting.

Although delays are nothing new, the problem has worsened in recent weeks with people taking hours to cross the border.
Some companies say their delivery trucks spend days stuck at the border.
At a recent meeting South Africans who have businesses in Lesotho told officials from the immigration department and the revenue service that they are now saddled with massive transport costs due to the delays.

They also said they are losing money as they cannot get their stock on time.
Head of Ports, Stephen van Neel, promised to deal with the problem.
Last week he told thepost he was working on ways to reduce the delays.

And for a few days it seemed his intervention had worked as the queues became shorter.
The problem however restarted this week. Lemphane-Letsie said they have since realised that the main problem is with the South African immigration department which does not have enough staff and adequate parking space.
“We have organised the meeting with South African border officials to come up with possible solutions. Friday, we are going to meet in Bloemfontein,” she said.

“We were hoping to have resolved the case in August as we have noticed that the slow movement at the border is affecting our economy,” she said.
“Business people are suffering hence the necessity to hurry up.”

Senate Sekotlo

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