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Home affairs warns people of delays at ports of entry

On average, 130,000 travellers’ documents have been processed daily since the start of the holiday season.

Beitbridge: Zimbabwean shoppers return to their home town Beitbridge after Christmas shopping in South African border town of Musina. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Home Affairs Department says delays experienced at different ports of entry should be expected.

This is because on average, some 130,000 travellers' documents have been processed daily since the start of the holiday season.

The department says the nature of the volumes means people travelling to different destinations will spend more time in queues but it's doing all it can to ensure efficiency at all ports.

Home affairs' Mayihlome Tshwete says while they cannot estimate how many people will go through the ports on Christmas Day measures have put in place handle any eventuality.

"We've put contingency plans in place to deal with those volumes."

After reports of a heavily pregnant woman needing to be rushed to hospital after waiting four hours at the Beitbridge Border Post, the South African Revenue Services (Sars)'s Sandile Memela says, it has trained customs personnel to deal with what it calls priority travellers.

"Officials have been trained to identify travellers that need priority attention like pregnant women, children and the aged."

Sars and the home affairs department say their collaborative programme to speed up processes and implement stricter border controls has been efficient.

(Eited by Refilwe Pitjeng)