from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – A CRACKDOWN on illegal immigrants and stringent measures following South Africa’s recent reopening of borders is having a negative impact on Mozambique’s economy.
South Africa reopened its borders on February 15, a month after it closed them amid a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, COVID-19 restrictions on people and goods’ movement remain in place.
At the reopening, the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa has also reinforced measures to control illegal migrants and increasing the number of deportations.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said these measures continued to negatively impact Mozambican small businesses relying on informal cross-border trade and reduce labour migration opportunities for domestic and informal workers.
The reduction in remittances from South Africa is also reducing household income for thousands of households in southern and central Mozambique.
FEWS NET stated the reduction in informal cross-border trade also contributed to an increase in processed product prices from South Africa.
“Overall, the restrictions are increasing food costs and reducing household purchasing power, particularly for poor urban and peri-urban households.”
Lebombo and Kosibay are the points of entry between South Africa and northeastern neighbor Mozambique.
South Africa’s restrictions are aimed at curbing what has been the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the continent.
The country has recorded more than 1,5 million cases, including more than 50, 000 deaths.
Africa has over 2,8 million cases and in excess of 71 350 deaths.
– CAJ News