Picture: Bas Kreukniet/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - Altogether 6,852,972 people passed through South Africa's ports of entry between December 1, 2018 and January 15, 2019, compared to 6,811,510 during the same period last year - a marginal increase of 0.61 percent, Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele said on Sunday.

The home affairs department experienced high traveller movements across the ports of entry, with travelling influenced mainly by tourism, cross-border employment, business, and education programmes, he told journalists during a media briefing in Pretoria.

"Statistics on traveller movement are an important indicator on how busy our ports are, and how efficient we are in processing movements," he said.

The top nationalities cleared at ports of entry over this period were from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, the United Kingdom, Germany, the US, Namibia, and Zambia.

OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng cleared the highest volumes with 997,167, followed by Beit bridge at 884,992, Lebombo with 625,975, Ficksburg Bridge with 471,474, and Maseru Bridge which recorded 428,038, Cwele said.

"I thank our travellers for their conduct during this period and all officials across government for meticulous planning, execution, and responsiveness to operational matters during the 2018/19 festive season," he said.

African News Agency (ANA)