The Department of Home Affairs has announced the 2017/18 festive season plans for the South African border environment. This is for smooth facilitation and enhanced management of movement of people and goods in and out of South Africa during this peak period.

Traveller numbers are cyclically influenced by reasons for travelling, with increases over the festive season, Easter and school holidays. Travelling is usually for tourism, cross border employment, business, academic and educational purposes.

During the 2015/16 festive period, a total of 5 303 555 movements was captured, comprising arrivals and departures of citizens and foreigners. Of these movements, 3 814 402 were for foreigners. In the 2016/17 festive period, the number rose to 5 504 022 – which is an increase of 200 467 or 3.78%. For 2016/17, movements for foreigners recorded reached 3 944 788.

Learning from past experience, sound planning is critical as we are likely to experience an increase in traveller movements, which exerts additional strain on available resources at ports of entry while posing security risks and dynamics for South Africa and countries with which it shares borders. This makes it necessary to plan for and mitigate against illegal movements and other transgressions.

Integrated port operations

The border environment is made vulnerable by civilians and officials who facilitate illegal and unauthorised movement, especially in peak periods. Invariably, this happens where border officials are corrupt, accepting bribes, or where border systems and business processes are manipulated.

Types of threats and risks identified for peak periods include:

  • ·       Fraudulent RSA travel documents, used by illegal migrants, such as passports and visas,
  • ·       Fraudulent Affidavits, used by travellers of foreign origin to cross the border with South African registered vehicles,
  • ·       Fraudulent or illegal stamping of travel documents, usually from those who have overstayed, are in possession of fraudulent documents or are fugitives from justice,
  • ·       Undocumented travellers, entering the country illegally or with expired visas,
  • ·       Pedestrians, cyclists and equine riders, who are not subjected to thorough inspections, and
  • ·       Borderline challenges, especially where the fence has been cut, and therefore allowing for illegal migration and smuggling activities.

 

Government departments and agencies with a border control mandate are taking a joint approach for the festive season operation, informed by the need for collaboration and integrated port operations.

Accordingly, the Department of Home Affairs, in consultation with and support from the SA Police Service, will effect enhanced border coordination institutional arrangements, to ensure that the border environment is well managed.

The National Border Management Coordination Committee will assess border control processes at ports of entry over this period and provide situational awareness reports to all relevant stakeholders. Represented on this Coordination Committee are departments and state agencies with a border control mandate – Border Management Authority Project Management Office, SA Police Service, Department of Agriculture, Department of Home Affairs, SARS and the State Security Agency.

The Department of Home Affairs will inspect travel documents, log and refer asylum-seekers to reception centres, facilitate deportations and prevent human trafficking. The SA Police Service will focus on patrols, inspection of vehicles, searches and seizures, profiling, access control at land ports, crowd management, response to crime hits and investigations.

The SA Revenue Services will respond to inspection requests in its area, quarantine or confiscate goods as necessary, handover impounded goods and confirm if goods have been correctly declared. The Department of Transport will focus on inspections of cross-border permits, traffic control and adherence to transport regulations.

The Department of Health will handle surveillance or screening measures for communicable diseases, inspections on conveyances at ports of entry, quarantine procedures, compliance with import permits and travel health services.    

Extended hours and additional staff for festive period

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, that is, from 6 December 2017 to 16 January 2018. A table showing extended hours is provided below.

To ensure reasonable turnaround times and to avoid congestion associated with peak periods, the Department of Home Affairs has deployed additional staff at targeted ports of entry. These are: Lebombo (from 147 to 222), Beitbridge (125 to 215), Maseru Bridge (62 to 107), Ficksburg (34 to 64), Oshoek (38 to 63), OR Tambo International Airport (345 to 370), Groblersbridge (14 to 22), Mahamba (10 to 20), Kopfontein (31 to 34), Ramathlabama (20 to 22), Skilpadshek (15 to 18), Caledonspoort (11 to 17), Van Rooyenshek (12 to 20), Tellebridge (4 to 9) Qachasnek (4 to 8), Kosibay (5 to 10) and Cape Town International Airport (from 68 to 75).

As citizens and travellers, we will have a safe and memorable festive season to the extent that we work together to ensure only legitimate people and goods are allowed to enter into or depart from our beloved Republic.

EXTENDED HOURS AT PORTS OF ENTRY

FROM 06 DECEMBER 2017 - 16 JANUARY 2018

Province

Port of Entry

Current Hours

Extended Hours

Increased Hours

Mpumalanga

Lebombo

06:00 - 00:00

24 hrs

6hrs (13 Dec 2017 - 08 Jan 2018)

 

Mananga

07:00 - 18:00

07:00 - 20:00

2hrs (19-23 Dec 2017)

 

Jeppes Reef

07:00 - 20:00

07:00 - 22:00

2hrs (21-14 Dec 2017)

 

Oshoek

06:00 - 00:00

24 hrs

6hrs (21-25 Dec 2017)

 

Mahamba

07:00 - 22:00

07:00 - 00:00

2hrs (22 Dec 2017)

Eastern Cape

Qacha’s Nek

07:00 - 20:00

06:00 - 22:00

3hrs (21-24 Dec 2017)

 

Qacha’s Nek

07:00 - 20:00

06:00 - 20:00

1hrs (25 Dec 2017)

 

Tellebridge

06:00 - 22:00

05:00 - 23:00

2 hrs (15 Dec 2017) &

2 hrs (22-26 Dec 2017)

KwaZulu-Natal

Kosi Bay

08:00 - 17:00

07:00 - 18:00

2hrs (15 Dec 2017 - 10 Jan 2018)

Free State

Van Rooyenshek

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 00:00

2hrs (15 Dec 2017)

 

Van Rooyenshek

06:00 - 22:00

24 hrs

8hrs (22-23 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 - 22:00

24 hrs

8hrs (22 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 00:00

2hrs (23 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 00:00

2hrs (02 Jan 2018

 

Monontsha Pass

08:00 - 16:00

08:00 - 18:00

2hrs  (15 Dec 2017)

2 hrs (22-23 Dec 2017)

2 hrs (1-3 Jan 2018)

 

For media enquiries contact:

Thabo Mokgola, 060 962 4982, email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or
David Hlabane, 071 527 9463, email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Issued by the Department of Home Affairs