Motsoaledi foreign workers

Aaron Motsoaledi speaks to the media – Kopano Tlape GCIS

Home Affairs reveals festive season border plan after security breaches

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi says border posts will increase capacity during the festive season, for ease of movement for travellers.

Motsoaledi foreign workers

Aaron Motsoaledi speaks to the media – Kopano Tlape GCIS

The Department of Home Affairs on Sunday 1 December 2019, in Pretoria, assured South Africans that the country’s border posts are well guarded and will have increased capacity during the festive season, despite recent security breaches. 

Video footage on social media showed scores of foreign nationals jumping over the border fence between South Africa and Mozambique.

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi said:

“We are aware of the video doing rounds of a serious security breach along the border line. We can confirm that this happened at the border line with Mozambique not very far from the Lebombo Border Post.” 

Motsoaledi explained that even after security breaches, South African’s should rest assured that the posts are secure and a plan is in place for seamless travel over the festive season.  

Passing the BMA bill 

Motsoaledia said it is imperative to properly document people who come to South Africa and to fight human trafficking, in particular, of persons of women and children across borders. 

“They will receive a major boost with the passing of the BMA Bill,” said Motsoaledi. 

The National Council of Province is scheduled to consider the BMA Bill on Tuesday 3 December and this will bring to finality deliberation on the Bill and once adopted, will be referred back to the National Assembly which will then consider it for submission to the president, before it becomes law.

Increased capacity at ports during festive season

The department is working with border law enforcement agencies and the six countries sharing borders with our country, to ensure ease of movement for travellers over the festive season. 

“We want travellers to enter and leave South Africa without hindrance in this peak period, and to do so in a manner that is legally permissible, without breaking any law of our country,” said Motsoaledi. 

Capacity will be increased between Wednesday, 4 December 2019 and 13 January 2020.

The ports of entry with traditionally high volumes of movement will have their operating hours increased by between one and seven hours. The Lebombo and Oshoek ports of entry will open for 24 hours on specified days. 

Border law enforcement entities have confirmed readiness to handle increased volumes of travellers and goods at all ports of entry. This increase in movement of people and goods, across borders, is due to the inflow and outflow of travellers such as tourists, cross-border workers, business, academics and those on educational activities.

Home Affairs to deploy 400 additional officials 

Home Affairs will deploy close to 400 additional officials at selected ports, to assist with delivery of immigration services and offer technical support at the borders. Most of these officials will be posted at the Beit Bridge Port of Entry with Zimbabwe, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge Port of Entry with Lesotho and the Ficksburg Port of Entry with Lesotho.

The South African Police Services has increased police officials with an additional 80. South African Revenue Services (Customs) is deploying an extra 86 customs officials at selected ports, and the rest of the border law enforcement entities have also deployed limited numbers of staff as they will rely mainly on overtime for permanent staff.

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