BEITBRIDGE — Long queues of travellers had started to build up at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe near Musina yesterday ahead of the Easter holidays.
— SABC online/Staff Reporter
South African Home Affairs minister Naledi Pandor was due to visit Home Affairs offices at the border yesterday.
There was high traffic and police officer visibility along the N1 North between Polokwane and Musina.
Holidaymakers were travelling from South Africa to Zimbabwe and countries further north, using the busy Beitbridge border post.
The majority of travellers were migrant workers from Gauteng and other provinces.
Authorities said they expected traffic congestion at the border to start building up by last night.
Pandor was expected to interact with travellers who will be getting their papers cleared at Home Affairs offices.
Last year’s travellers during the Christmas holidays spent several days stranded at the Beitbridge border because of congestion and delays by immigration officials.
Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi accused South African Home Affairs officials of delaying travellers deliberately, but his claims were dismissed by the neighbouring country as untrue.
South Africa’s Border Control Co-ordinating Committee (BCOCC) had to deploy more staff after it became clear that the traffic would surpass that of previous holidays.
BCOCC said while last year by that time they had processed about 19 000 people a day on Christmas Eve, they processed over 30 000 last year.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says it aims to reduce the number of deaths on the country’s roads by 25% during this Easter period.
The corporation deployed 240 law enforcement officers from its National Traffic Police Unit to major routes in all provinces.
The Moloto Road outside Pretoria, which is notorious for fatal road accidents, will also be highly monitored.
RTMC acting chief executive officer Collins Letsoalo said their focus included roadworthiness of vehicles and driver behaviour.