The Department of Home Affairs is ready for the flow of travellers expected over this festive season. This is according to newly appointed Minister Siyabonga Cwele who visited OR Tambo International Airport, one of the country’s busiest ports, situated on Gauteng’s East Rand.

As families plan to travel with children over the festive season, the Department of Home Affairs has relaxed some of the requirements for minors travelling through South African ports of entry.

Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele says from the beginning of December, certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents previously required.

“The key change is that children under 18 will no longer be required to present their unabridged birth certificates but they are advised to carry these documents.”

He says the Department has been hard at work to ensure smooth travels for the eight million passengers expected to pass through the country’s ports of entry and exit during this period.

Additional resources have been called in and 425 extra staff has been deployed. Cwele says many of the ports will now be operating for extended hours.

“Our ports of entry started operating for extended hours on 5 December and these times will remain until 9 January 2019. “

An IT team has also been deployed to ensure that systems are up and running and that technical problems do not interfere with festive travels.