by Simon Capstick-Dale

Half a million hit SA borders during Easter

Holiday arrivals soar

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Over 500 000 people were processed in and out of South Africa at all national ports of entry during the Easter weekend, the home affairs department has stated.

The department said the figure was recorded from 28 March to 1 April and the processing of travellers was without any glitches.

It said the smooth processing came in the context of a directive by Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor to deploy extra personnel and increase working hours at all national ports of entry – land, sea and airports.

This enabled the ports to deal with expected high traveller volumes over the Easter weekend. Pandor and her director-general Mkuseli Apleni also visited the Beitbridge and Lebombo posts on Thursday to see how the systems were performing.

"Working together with other state agencies such as SARS, Customs, SAPS and SANDF, a total of 273 888 arrivals and 312 352 departures were recorded and processed on the country’s Movement Control System," the department said.

The top five Southern African Development Community countries processed were:
- Lesotho with 88 227
- Zimbabwe with 77 277
- Swaziland with 50 492
- Botswana with 49 500
- Mozambique 44 414

The top three European nationals processed in the same period were:
- UK with 17 072
- USA 8 951
- Germany 8 183

Nationals from China and India accounted for 3 676 and 3 249 respectively.
The ports of entry with the highest volumes of travellers processed included OR Tambo International Airport, Beitbridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg and Oshoek.

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