Border Management Authority ready for Easter holiday travellers

Border Management Authority ready for Easter holiday travellers. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)

Border Management Authority ready for Easter holiday travellers. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 31, 2024


After securing borders and preventing more than 27 000 illegal entries across the country’s ports of entry, the Border Management Authority(BMA) has indicated that it is ready for Easter Holiday travellers.

During the festive season operations, BMA reported that the agency intercepted over 27 000 people who tried to enter South Africa illegally and helped curb illegal migration, human smuggling, trafficking and cross-border crime.

South Africa is said to be home to 71 ports of entry of which 52 are land, 10 are international airports and nine are seaports.

This time around, the authority has revealed that its technical teams are ready to manage any system glitches that may interrupt services at its ports of entry.

This is as thousands of Easter holiday travellers are set to make their way in and out of the country and across provinces for the long weekend.

BMA commissioner Michael Masiapato briefed the media on the authority's state of readiness for the Easter period adding that more than 400 trainee border guards have been deployed to ensure seamless management of processes.

Masiapato said BMA is in talks with their counterparts in neighbouring countries with the Easter weekend operations being done with collaboration from other stakeholders including, the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Revenue Service (SARS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) are supporting this Easter operational plan.

“Upon realising the need for additional capacity, we increased our human resource deployment for immigration and law enforcement duties,” Masiapato’ said.

On Thursday, Masiapato’s sentiments were also echoed by minister in the presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni in Parliament who said law enforcement agencies and border guards are on stand by to secure and ensure safety across all ports of entry this Easter weekend.

“There will be heightened police visibility across the country aimed at preventing, combating and at the same time, countering serious and violent crime during the holiday period and beyond,” the minister said.

Ntshavheni was addressing the media on the outcomes of the last official Cabinet meeting of the sixth administration held on Wednesday.

“During this time, many South Africans will travel around the country to visit their families and friends, resulting in increased traffic volumes. Law enforcement has adopted a zero tolerance for road users who drive recklessly and are negligent and those who use excessive speeds,” she said.

On the matters affecting the country’s borders, the minister said the cabinet has welcomed BMA’s efforts to increase security control measures and reduce congestion, adding that the extended operating hours would help alleviate matters with the employment of additional 400 border guards.

The minister said she is proud of the work of the BMA, which on 1 April 2024, will mark one year since it was established.

Saturday Star

[email protected]