Focus on OR Tambo for Madiba funeral

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SAPA

Eddie Marafane, executive director: destination tourism, Vuyo Zitumane, chairperson of the board and CEO of Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency Luxolo Rubushe during a press briefing on accommodation in Mthatha and Qunu.

Johannesburg - Plans have been made to accommodate the large number of mourners coming into the country ahead of former president Nelson Mandela's funeral, the department of home affairs said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the focus was on OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria Airport, Waterkloof Air Force Base, Port Elizabeth airports and other land ports.

This was ahead of the state funeral which was scheduled to take place on Sunday in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, where Mandela grew up.

Mamoepa said the capacity at these airports was increased through reinforcements at service counters to ensure that all cubicles were continuously staffed for the duration of the week.

More supervisors and IT personnel were also deployed to adequately oversee operations and deal with technological glitches that might arise.

The department was working with relevant entities including the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) and Airports Company SA (Acsa), to manage the timely arrivals and departures of dignitaries attending the funeral, Mamoepa said.

“Acsa has been assisting us with a daily itinerary of flight arrivals as well as departures, while Dirco has provided us with a list of heads of state and government that are expected for the funeral as well as their schedules of departure.”

Mamoepa said visas would be issued on arrival to mourners arriving from countries where South Africa did not have a diplomatic presence. - Sapa

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