Border Management Authority extends port operating hours

Border Management Authority extends port operating hours

December 5, 2023

The Border Management Authority (BMA) is implementing a comprehensive plan, including longer border post operating times and more boots on the ground, for its festive season operations.

This according to BMA commissioner, Dr Michael Masiapato, who told the media at a briefing in Pretoria on Sunday that the agency was expecting at least six million people to move through the country’s borders during the holidays.

He said the agency had engaged with six neighbouring countries on the synchronisation of processes.

“While some of our busiest ports already operate on a 24-hour basis, Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has already approved our request to extend the operating hours on other identified critical ports on certain dates that we agreed with our immediate neighbouring countries,” Masiapato said.

The following working hours will now be operational at ports of entry:

  • Grobler’s Bridge to Botswana: 06:00 to midnight on December 15, 16, 22 and 23
  • Swartkopfontein to Botswana: 06:00 to 20:00 from December 14 to 17 and 22 to 24, January 2 to 4 and January 13 to 15
  • Kosi Bay to Mozambique: 06:00 to 18:00 from December 14 to January 14
  • Mahamba to Swaziland: 07:00 to midnight on December 15, 23, 24
  • Jeppes Reef to Swaziland: 07:00 to 22:00 from December 22 to January 2
  • Mananga to Swaziland: 07:00 to 20:00 from December 18 to 23
  • Sanipass to Lesotho: 06:00 to 20:00 on December 15, 16 as well as December 21 to 24
  • Caledonspoort:  06:00 to midnight on December 15, 16 and 23 and January 2. On December 22, the port will operate for 24 hours.
  • Van Rooyensgate: 06:00 to midnight on December 15, 16 and 24 and January 8. It will operate for 24 hours on December 23 and January 2
  • Monontsa Pass: 07:00 to 18:00 on December 23 and 24 as well as January 2 and 3
  • Pekabridge: 08:00 to 18:00 on December 23 and 24 and January 2 and 3

“In addition, we will be deploying about 380 additional personnel at the selected busiest ports of entry to assist with the delivery of services and provision of technical support during this period. There are also a number of senior members from the Border Technical Committee (BTC) who have been allocated individual ports for their visitation during the identified critical dates to provide support,” he said.

Additional infrastructure has been sought, including generators, to mitigate the effects of load-shedding on operations.

“After engagement with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, they will be providing additional infrastructure such as temporary lighting, ablution facilities, special temporary barricades, and a JoJo tank for the provision of water to the travellers at the identified critical land ports.

“We have also deployed additional IT support teams to various ports to immediately address any kind of system glitches experienced on the ground,” Masiapato said.

He added that the BMA would keep a close eye on any illegal activity.

“We will be focusing on curbing illegal movement of persons and goods with specific focus on cross-border organised criminal elements and other general crimes perpetrated in the ports of entry and border law enforcement area,” Masiapato said. – SAnews.gov.za

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