Custom officials at Beitbridge border stand outside port gates as public order police patrol the troubled Beitbridge border. File photo: ANA

PRETORIA - The department of home affairs has said that over 200 000 traveller movements were processed at the Beitbridge border post in the first 17 days of December. 

The number is expected to increase as Christmas and New Year holidays draw closer.  

Home Affairs minister Siyabonga Cwele on Thursday toured South Africa's busiest land port, which is at the border with Zimbabwe, and is the gateway to the rest of Africa.

“I am happy with the operations I saw today [Thursday] at Beitbridge and I’m confident that the measures we have put in place will assist to ease travel for visitors using this port. We don’t want people to spend a lot of time here at the border whether they are departing or arriving,” said Cwele after his monitoring tour.

He said he was pleased with the cooperation amongst the different state agencies operating at the critical port.

“We’ll continue to have increased capacity at this and all our other border posts until January 9. We appeal to travellers to ensure that they have all the relevant supporting documents which should be legible and recently certified,” said Cwele.

Cwele was accompanied by Musina Mayor Mihloti Muhlophe, Musina Speaker Gilbert Netshisaulu, Musina Chief Whip Fistos Mafela and other senior officials.

The minister and his delegation were briefed on the port operations by staff members of some of the government institutions which operate at Beitbridge, including home affairs, SA Revenue Service, SA Police Service and others.  

African News Agency (ANA)