The Department of Home Affairs has increased capacity to deal with the high number of people passing through the country’s borders this festive season. The department has also warned those traveling with children to familiarise themselves with the required documents.

The festive season is one of the busiest times of the year on the country’s roads and border gates as travelers make their way to various destinations. Home Affairs says to cope with the high number of travellers, about 250 additional personnel will be deployed on the country’s borders.

In Mpumalanga, the Lebombo and Oshoek border posts are the busiest of the five ports of entry. The two  borders are now operating 24 hours a day. The others have also extended  operating hours.

Siya Qoba from the Home Affairs Department says the extended hours at the borders will run until 9 January 2019.

“Lebombo and Oshoek are now operating 24hours. Jeppes Reff is now operating from 7oclock in the morning until 10 oclock at night and at Mahamba border posts we are operating from 7oclock until midnight everyday, the Mananga we are operating from 7’oclock .”

Meanwhile, Trans African Concessions (TRAC)  which is responsible for almost 600 km of road between Tshwane and the Port of Maputo in Mozambique  says the traffic volume is expected to increase on Friday fternoon.

Spokesperson, Solange Soares-Nicholson says TRAC is ready for the festive season traffic influx.

“Throughout the festive season TRAC, will provide assistance unit, patrol teams as well as the 24-hour help desk, will be in full alert both in South Africa and Mozambique service, and we are going to keep the roads as comfortable as possible and promptly respond to accidents”

The Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison will deploy more traffic officers along all major routes in the province. Spokesperson Moeti Musi says people who violate traffic laws will be dealt with.

“Overloaded vehicles as well drivers who are not fit to be on the road they will be dealt with harshly by our traffic law enforcers so we are appealing to everyone who will be coming in and out of Mpumalanga to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy, they are excessively overloaded, they do not drink and drive, they have valid and proper documentation”.

According to Moeti, traffic officers will be stationed at all times at the ports of entry to monitor and enforce the law.