As South Africa prepares for another festive season those responsible for border posts and points of entry have been hard at work to ensure that travellers have as pleasant an experience as possible.
Home Affairs, the South African Police Service, the South African Revenue Service, the Departments of Health and Agriculture and relevant stakeholders from neighbouring countries have developed a comprehensive operational plan in preparation for the rush.
Steps taken include extended hours at the busiest ports of entry, the deployment of additional staff and ensuring that all IT equipment is in good condition at all ports of entry.
Last year, there were just over 8.4 million arrivals and departures at South Africa’s ports of entry and 6.1 million of these were foreigners.
The top 10 ports for all movements were as follows:
- OR Tambo International Airport – 1,569,100
- Beit Bridge – 1,215,845
- Lebombo – 936,415
- Ficksburg – 701,588
- Maseru Bridge – 699,186
- Cape Town International Airport – 555,451
- Oshoek – 384,076
- Kopfontein – 236,561
- Ramathlabama – 176,348
- Groblers Bridge – 165,903
Despite these staggering figures, border management authorities said that they are geared up to detect risks such as fraudulent documents, undocumented travellers and poor access control due to congested roads.
“If you will be crossing one of our borders, please ensure that you know your responsibilities in terms of the documents you need,” said Home Affairs media liaison officer Thabo Mokgola.
“There are different requirements for crossing into different countries. Some need health certificates, others need bank documents.”