30 December 2020
Staff Reporter/ PretoriaLIVE
Pretoria – The South African Home Affairs Department has put in place mechanisms at its six busiest land port of entries to easy congestion for both human and traffic as travelers will be returning back into the country from the festive holidays.
Beitbridge boarder became the centre of attention from as early as the 15th of December when volumes of traffic stretching kilometers were witnessed with immigration officials seemingly overwhelmed with the number of holiday-makers travelling to different destinations.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi highlighted that his ministry has made plans when people use the lands ports of entry.
“The following are our plans for the expected activity when people return back to the country; The Department of Home Affairs will deploy an additional 160 officials at six busiest land ports of entry to process returning travelers until the 14 January 2021”.
Motsoaledi said, “The Department of health, via its Port Health unit, will deploy additional Port Health officials to all ports of entry to ensure that only travelers with a valid PCR tests are allowed into the country. Alternatively, those without a PCR test will be subjected to a rapid anti-gent tests at the port of entry at their own cost. South Africa will not allow any traveler into the country without a valid PCR test or the Anti-gen test for Covid-19”.
The ports of entry which will be used are, “Beitbridge Border Post with Zimbabwe, Oshoek Border Post with Kingdom of Eswatwini, Lebombo Border Post with Mozambique, Maseru Bridge with Lesotho, Ficksburg with Lesotho and Kopfontein with Botswana”, Motsoaledi said.
Motsoaledi added that another 60 additional immigration law enforcement officers will be deployed to support the SA National Defense Force, “At identified high risk areas along the borderline where people have a tendency to cross illegally into SA”.
“The immigration officers and the soldiers are not there to stop people from coming into South Africa . There are there to assist that anybody wishing to visit South Africa must use the official gates of entry and produce all the requisite documentation otherwise, they won’t be allowed in”, Motsoaledi reiterated.
Other mitigatory measures which the ministry has put in place include but not limited to; The National Laboratory Services (NHLS) which will enlist private laboratories to provide additional support for testing as well as the South African Military Health Services has been requested to provide 73 additional military health personnel to help in the testing.