SA, Moz discuss establishing one border post

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Komatipoort - South Africa and Mozambique are to integrate the Lebombo and Ressano Garcia border posts to improve safety and security measures at the border.

Director General in the Department of Correctional Services Xoliswa Sibeko affirmed on Tuesday that a one-stop border post would facilitate the legal movement of people and commodities across the border.

"Travelers will only stop once as opposed to the current dispensation which requires that they get processed at two facilities of the two countries," said Commissioner Sibeko, following a visit to the Lebombo border.

She said this would also address the congestion at the border and result in more convenience for travelers.

"It is our intention to ensure that all law enforcement in all South African ports of entry is effective," she said, adding that an agreement on operations would be easy to reach between the two countries.

Government has always made law enforcement at ports of entry a priority, however, efforts have been doubled ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

A Joint Border Clearance Initiative is expected to be implemented at both the South African and neighbouring states' border posts to deal with the anticipated influx of soccer fans.

"The initiative entails cooperation between South African border posts officials and their counterparts in processing the passage of travellers through our borders. This initiative will result in effective and efficient border post operations as already mentioned in respect of the One Stop Border Post," she said.

Specific attention will be given to Lebombo, the Zimbabwe border at Beit Bridge, the Botswana border at Kopfontein, the Swaziland border Oshoek and the Lesotho borders at Fiksburg Bridge and Maseru Bridge.

Commissioner Sibeko added that several foreign airports had been designated as a priority as ports of entry due to the following considerations Strategic Central Air Hubs, volume of travellers departing for South Africa, possibility of participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and direct flights to South Africa.

The airports to be given precise attention during the two most important events in the international soccer calendar include Perth Airport, Heathrow Airport, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and Frankfort Hahn Airport in Germany.