Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele says they are planning to increase staff capacity at all ports of entry during the Easter weekend.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Cwele announced the operational hour’s extension to selected ports of entry across the country.

He says the Department plans to deploy additional staff members to ports of entry that are already on 24 hours operation shift.

Cwele says all Departments including SAPS, SARS, Health, State Security Agency and Defence which are members of the Border Management Authority Operations Task Team, are ready to discharge their mandate starting from next week Wednesday until after Easter weekend.

“So in terms of operating hours the Beit Bridge, Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg they normally operate 24 hours. They will continue operating 24 hours.”

Other border posts will just increase the number of hours between one hour up to six hours during the peak period.”

Cwele says his Department recorded more than one-million travellers during the previous Easter period. He says one out of four people travelling during that period were local citizens.

He appeals to those intending to travel during the upcoming Easter holidays to have proper travelling documents.

The minister urged all road users to obey the general rules of the road and not to drink and drive. Cwele says a large contingent of law enforcement will also patrol the national roads and ports of entry.

“We appeal to all South Africans, particularly the drivers, they normally cause us problems by jumping the queue and then blocking the road and cause a huge congestion. The traffic police and our SAPS won’t tolerate it. They will be acting very harshly to those . But we appeal to people if you follow the queue it would be faster than trying to jump the queue and blocking everybody. We also appeal to those who will be travelling not to drink while they are still travelling. It is better to take water. You arrive much fresher at your destination than taking alcohol; because alcohol comes with all sorts of ills, including accidents.”