South Africa ramps up border services

20 December 2010

The Department of Home Affairs is implementing a comprehensive plan for the smooth movement of South African nationals and visitors in and out of the country, in anticipation of increased traffic through all entry points over the festive season.

The operational plan, which has been in place since last Monday, is based on the successful implementation of the department’s innovative Movement Control System (MCS) that was successfully used during South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

“In addition to ensuring the smooth movement of travellers, the MCS will also assist the Department of Home Affairs and other government agencies to prevent the entry of undesirable elements into the country to ensure optimal security for South Africans and foreigners alike,” the department said in a statement last week.

As part of its preparations, Home Affairs is cooperating with various other government departments and agencies, including the South African Revenue Service, Department of Health, SA Police Service, SA National Defence Force, intelligence agencies, and the Border Control Coordinating Committee.

“This collective of departments and agencies will be coordinating operations throughout the festive season,” the department said.

Increasing human capacity

To further ensure the smooth movement of travellers, the department has also assigned an additional 198 officials to six key land ports of entry, including Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg, Maseru, Oshoek and Kopfontein.

As a consequence of 24-hour monitoring through its operations centre, the department will be in a position to rotate this capacity at short notice to ports of entry with high volumes.

“As a department, we are confident that all the required measures are in place to ensure the safe and smooth movement of travellers into and out of the country,” the department said. “We take this opportunity to wish South Africans and foreigners alike a peaceful and restful festive season.”

SAinfo reporter

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