Certain SA border ports of entry to operate 24hrs a day during peak, festive season

There can be nothing worse than spending the beginning of your long-awaited holiday queuing at a port of entry. During the peak holiday season, which kicks off from 5 December 2018 until 9 January 2019, this is often an unfortunately reality.

The Department of Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan announced on Wednesday 28 November that operational hours will be extended at South Africa’s busiest ports of entry as a result.   

“Operational hours will be extended for busy ports of entry, covering pre-festive season movements, the festive season period and the re-opening of schools," Chohan says.

SEE: Map: All SA’s official points of entry + contact details 

The busiest port of entry, OR Tambo International facilitated some 1 569 100 travellers between last year's peak festive season period, followed by Beit Bridge (1 215 845) and Lebombo (936 415).

The highest arrivals from the SADC region were from Lesotho (758 519), followed by Zimbabwe (712 688), Mozambique (398 684), Swaziland (306 682) and Botswana (256 793). 

Chohan says the department would also deploy 425 additional staff at the busiest ports.

To this end, Mpumalanga’s Lebombo and Oshoek border posts, Free State’s Van Rooyenshek and Caledonspoort posts will be open for 24 hours during certain periods in December.

Other ports would see their operational times extended by between one and two hours. 

READ: What to do when your SA passport gets stolen

It was an imperative for SA's ports of entry to be adequately prepared to facilitate traveller movement and to curb illegal movement and transgressions. 

“We implore all travellers leaving and entering South Africa to ensure that all their travel documents are in order to avoid unnecessary delays in ports. These include passports, visas, health certificates, permits for specified goods, plants and animals and vehicles insurance and bank authorised cross-border documents for vehicles.

“We wish everyone a safe and pleasant festive season,” Chohan said.

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