With the festive season in full swing, over 200 000 travellers have been processed at Beit Bridge Border Post from 1 to 17 December 2018.
Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele received a report from officials posted at Beit Bridge during his monitoring visit on Thursday.
Minister Cwele was accompanied by Musina Mayor Mihloti Muhlophe, Musina Speaker Gilbert Netshisaulu, Musina Chief Whip Fistos Mafela and other senior leaders.
With Beit Bridge being the country’s busiest land port, an inter-departmental team of staff has been deployed to border posts to manage the expected increases in traveller movements.
The team includes Home Affairs, SA Revenue Service, SA Police Service, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Health, Department of Transport, Cross Border Road Transport Agency and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
The Minister and his delegations were briefed on port operations by staff members of some of the government institutions which operate at Beit Bridge.
“I am happy with the operations I saw today at Beit Bridge and I’m confident that the measures we have put in place will assist to ease travel for visitors using this port. We don’t want people to spend a lot of time here at the border whether they are departing or arriving,” said the Minister.
Cwele said he was pleased with the cooperation amongst the different State agencies operating at the port.
“We’ll continue to have increased capacity at this and all our other border posts until 9 January 2019. We appeal to travellers to ensure that they have all the relevant supporting documents which should be legible and recently certified,” said Cwele.
Muhlophe said cooperation between national departments and border towns such as Musina was important to ensure that people cross the borders with the correct documents and to manage crime.
She said this cooperation enables her municipality to escalate possible challenges to the relevant departments and to jointly work on solving them.
She said the resources of border towns could be strained when foreign visitors reside in those towns illegally.
Minister Cwele said he shall visit other ports of entry during this peak period to monitor service delivery and interact with visitors.
“One of the biggest task of Home Affairs is to facilitate ease of travel at our ports of entry. This has a big impact on tourism, trade and investment. This could ultimately improve economic growth,” said Cwele. – SAnews.gov.za