The Salvation Military is working with the South African authorities to offer help to individuals affected by COVID-19 border delays – South Africa
SALVATION The army’s emergency teams in north and east South Africa support people stranded on the republic’s borders with neighboring countries. Introducing heightened border control measures to minimize the spread of a new, more transmissible strain of COVID-19, travelers have been stranded for several days while borders are temporarily closed or awaiting the result of mandatory coronavirus testing.
The Salvation Army teams – each consisting of 11 people with specially provided personal protective equipment – worked on the border posts that connect South Africa with Zimbabwe (Beitbridge), Mozambique (Lebombo), eSwatini (Oshoek) and Lesotho (Maseru Bridge). In each location, people trying to cross the line have delayed themselves up to six days in extreme heat, resulting in dehydration, heat exhaustion, malnutrition, and significant stress. In some cases, the queues of trucks waiting to move goods across the border have traveled 15 kilometers. The Salvation Army Territorial Leaders for Southern Africa, Colonel Daniel and Tracey Kasuso, have joined the team on the Zimbabwean border.
Health information is distributed at each location along with packs of snacks and toiletries. Each traveler – up to 800 in each distribution – receives 1.5 liters of mineral water, long-life milk, bread, energy bars, fruit and sweet treats as well as a bar of soap, a washcloth and hand disinfectant. A new public health poster campaign developed at the Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London is being translated into Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and other South African languages.
Given the increased risk of cross-border trafficking in human beings during such challenging times, the Salvation Army is providing drivers and passengers with leaflets containing information on how to become aware of the risks and reduce the likelihood of vulnerability.
“It’s tough in the hot conditions,” says Major Heather Rossouw, Director of Territorial Rescue Services for the Salvation Army in southern Africa, “but the needs that arose at the border prompted us to provide assistance.” at this border post. We hope that the Salvation Army, in coordination with the South African government and other organizations, can help defeat COVID-19 in our country and meet the needs of the people affected by it. ‘
The contingency measures will continue particularly at the borders of eSwatini and Lesotho as regulations can continue to change. The Salvation Army coordinates with South African government agencies including the Ministries of Health, Social Development, Home Affairs and the Border Control Police, as well as CoRMSA (Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa) and several other non-governmental organizations such as Gift Donors.
- [View photos from the emergency response](
- [Download public health information posters in various languages](
- [Find out more about The Salvation Army’s worldwide COVID-19 response](