SOUTH AFRICA EXTENDS WORKING HOURS AT BORDER CHECKPOINTS

The South African government has extended the working hours at two border checkpoints at Lebombo and Oshoek in Mpumalanga Province beginning Wednesday to facilitate the anticipated heavier traffic with neighbouring Mozambique and Swaziland to operate round the clock.

The 24-hour operations at the two border posts will allow foreign nationals and holiday-makers to have easy access to all three countries. Other ports of entry such as Mananga, Jeppes Reef and Mahamba into Swaziland will extend their normal operating hours by an additional three hours daily, according to the Department of Home Affairs (Interior).

The extension of working hours will ease the long queues of people and traffic which are a familiar sight at the main ports of entry in Mpumalanga as holiday-makers travel between South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland during the year-end festive season.

This means added workload for border control personnel to process as many people as possible as they head to their desired destinations.

Home Affairs Department Border Post Director Stephen van Neels said the department had also dispatched additional personnel to the ports of entry to beef up services.

"It is necessary to have this extension in our ports because this is a period that we have extra flows and additional movement and there for we would like to help our people by having extended hours from Dec 14 until Jan 12."

Van Neels said his department, with the help of other departments in the Security Cluster of ministries, had also increased the number of police personnel to ensure that criminals have no access to smuggle unlawful substances into the country.

He appealed to the public who will be crossing at various ports of entry to bring along all necessary documents to avoid disappointment.

Meanwhile, the Mpumalanga Province Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison has increased its traffic personnel at all major roads across the province. The move is aimed at increasing visibility and help curb road fatalities.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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