Traveller volumes into South Africa reach over two (2) million ahead of Christmas festivities
22 Dec 2011
The Department of Home Affairs has so far facilitated the smooth movement into and out of the country from 1 to 22 December 2011 of over two million travellers through its ports of entry ahead of the Christmas festivities this coming weekend, said Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday, 22 December 2011.
Through its Advanced Passenger Processing and Movement Control Systems, a legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Department has facilitated the movement into and out of the country from 1-22 December 2011 of 2 323 192 (two million three hundred and twenty three thousand one hundred and ninety two) through its air, land and sea ports including OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports.
In anticipation of increased traveller volumes, an additional 154 immigation officers have also been deployed to the Maseru, Lebombo and Durban Harbour Ports of Entry.
In addition we have increased the hours of operation from 22-24 December 2011 at certain ports of entry as follows: Mahamba from 07h00 to 00h00, Mananga from 07h00 to 20h00, Jeppes Reef from 07h00 to 22h00, Qacha’s Nek from 06h00-22h00 and Tellebridge from 06h00-20h00. From 22 December 2011 to 9 January 2012 the van Rooyenshek Port of Entry will operate from 06h00 to 00h00.
Meanwhile the 350 former South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) officers who were laterally transferred to the Department of Home Affairs and trained in immigration, successfully assumed duty at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday, 21 December 2011. The deployment comes ahead of efforts to re-engineer the Department has a security and service orientated Department, simultaneously enabling it to take its rightful place as a security department in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster.
While the officers have been trained to render expeditious services, they will also ensure a thorough security assessment of all travellers into and out of the Republic in line with our immigration laws.
In this regard, the deployment was not without its teething problems which resulted in delays in the processing of travellers in line with security requirements.
Accordingly Minister Dlamini-Zuma reiterates the appeal for travellers through OR Tambo International Airport to exercise patience following recent changes in immigration systems at the airport while expressing confidence that with the passage of time, the efficiency levels will improve without compromising the security of our country.
Finally, in pursuance of our security mandate, Home Affairs Inspectorate will form part and parcel of law enforcement agency anti-crime operations over the festive season.
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Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
22 Dec 2011
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