South Africa’s busiest ports of entry have extended operating times by between two and six hours ahead of Easter.
Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi approved a temporary extension of operating times from Wednesday, 13 April to Wednesday 20 April 2021 to deal with anticipated high volumes.
Mahamba Port of Entry between South Africa and Eswatini will operate for an additional two hours from 07:00 to 00:00, instead of 07:00 to 22:00, today, 14 April 2022.
The Caledonspoort Port of Entry with Lesotho will operate for an additional two hours from 06:00 to 00:00, instead of 06:00 to 22:00, on 14 and 18 April 2022.
The Van Rooyensgate Port of Entry with Lesotho will operate for an additional two hours from 06:00 to 00:00, instead of 06:00 to 22:00, on 14 April 2022.
Kosibay with Mozambique will operate for an extra three hours, opening an hour earlier and closing two hours later. Kosibay will now operate from 07:00 to 19:00 compared to the usual times of 08:00 to 17:00, until 20 April 2022.
Lebombo with Mozambique started operating for an additional six hours, making it to operate for 24 hours, compared to its current 06:00 to 00:00 operating period.
This port will continue operating for 24 hours beyond the Easter period. The main benefit of this development is that truck congestion should ease.
Lebombo joins other busy ports that operate for 24 hours that include Oshoek with Eswatini which started its 24 hour operations on 10 December 2021.
Beit Bridge with Zimbabwe and Ficksburg and Maseru Bridge with Lesotho are already operating for 24 hours.
The operating hours have been agreed to with affected neighbouring countries.
“We are increasing the capacity at the Ports of Entry to make it easier for border crossers to get to their destinations faster and to facilitate trade in the region.
“We encourage travellers to plan their journey such that they have sufficient time to clear the border and arrive in their destinations safely,” said Dr. Motsoaledi.
“We also urge them to ensure that they have valid and correct travel documents. They must resist the temptation to bribe their way through the ports,”
Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs on Thursday said its offices in flood-hit KwaZulu-Natal had re-opened.
“Services have been restored in Home Affairs offices in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) following the service interruption yesterday due to flood-related network problems,” said Siya Qoza, spokesperson for the home affairs minister.
“Only Tongaat and Chatsworth offices are still offline. A mobile unit has been deployed to Chatsworth Home Affairs to assist clients until services are fully restored.”
Qoza said citizens and other clients who need services are invited to visit their nearest office for help.
All services are provided in all offices countrywide.
“The Department of Home Affairs wishes to thank all citizens and clients for understanding and exercising patience during the service interruption,” said Qoza.