Extended hours at SA, Mozambique border post

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nelspruit - The Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post between South Africa and Mozambique will be open 24 hours a day over the Easter weekend to cope with the increased volume of traffic between the two countries.

Maputo Corridor Initiative (MCLI) Chief Executive Officer Brenda Horne-Ferreira said the extended hours of operation would be implemented from Wednesday to next week Tuesday.

She said taxis carrying more than six passengers, as well as busses, will be cleared at the Lebombo Border Dry Port (the old airport) near Komatipoort from 8-14 April, 24 hours a day

"Cargo clearing hours will still be from 6am to 10pm, but cargo will be cleared at Kilometre 4 in Mozambique and at the old airport on the South African side.

"Trucks transporting cargo will be escorted through the frontier separately from passenger vehicles," said Ms Horne-Ferreira.

She said the extended hours will also apply from 6am on Friday to midnight on Monday, but only at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia port of entry.

"Due to the volumes of traffic expected over the Easter weekend, additional staff will be deployed at the border posts. Travellers are requested to be patient because we still expect queues," she added.

She warned travellers to be on the lookout for fraudsters who try and pass themselves off as government officials on both sides of the border who offer to complete documentation on behalf of travellers for a fee.

Ms Horne-Ferreira said the only fees travellers have to pay on either side of the border is the R17 required by Mozambican immigration for the processing of travellers' passports when entering Mozambique at Ressano/Garcia, and the R10 per vehicle charged for road tax, which is paid to Mozambican customs officials at Ressano/Garcia.

"These fees should only be paid to the uniformed customs and immigration officers. If people are unsure they must ask for official identification and an official government receipt," added Ms Horne-Ferreira.

South African travellers to Mozambique are required to complete a DA341 form to be able to take their vehicles through the border post.

"Motorists must ensure that the information provided on the form is accurate as there are serious legal implications should this information be found to be inaccurate," said Ms Horne-Ferreira.

Motorists are also advised to obtain an international driver's license for travel across the border and to always carry bank authorisation and insurance repatriation confirmation if the vehicle is financed by a bank.

"If the vehicle is fully paid up, motorists are required to carry the vehicle's original registration papers," she said.

Anyone crossing the border in a vehicle which they do not own needs to have the owner's written permission in order to cross.

"Travellers have to also note that third-party insurance for South African vehicles crossing the border is compulsory and can be obtained from various outlets at the border and at Komatipoort, agents at the Lebombo Border Dry Port and at the Sasol garage on the N4 near the Komatipoort turn-off.

"These service providers will also assist with the necessary documentation for their trip across the border," said Ms Horne Ferreira.

Motorists travelling at night are also advised to be on the lookout for pedestrians and stray animals on the road.

"Officials at both ports of entry have requested that travellers not use parking spots at the border post for refreshment breaks as this contributes to congestion," she said.