SA's ports of entry get a boost during festive season

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The country's ports of entry are to be beefed up with additional immigration officers to ensure the free movement of people to and from the country during the festive season.

"This will cater for the expected spike in the movement of people from the neighbouring countries who will be coming to the country to buy goods for the festive season, departure of South Africans on holiday as well as those foreign workers who will be returning to their respective homes for the holidays," Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said.

He said all ports of entry will be beefed up with extra staff and more than 150 additional immigration officers will be deployed to priority areas.

"We are doing this to encourage people to use legally recognised ports of entry to and from our country," he said.

According to Gigaba, mobile units will also be deployed to Beit Bridge, Kopfontein, and Lebombo to address issues of congestion.

He also announced that Maseru Bridge, Finksburg, Skilspadhek, Kopfontein, Ramatlabama, Beit Bridge and Caledonspoort will start to operate 24 hours, seven days a week from 6 December until 15 January 2010.

Oshoek and Lebombo will start to operate 24 hours on 4 December until 18 January 2010.

Services will also be enhanced at OR Tambo International Airport, Durban International and Cape Town International, while Lanseria will be put on standby.