More than 160 police officials have been deployed at the Lebombo Border Post ahead of the festive season. A joint operation by the police, SARS and Home Affairs has assessed the state of readiness to ensure smooth operations during the December holidays.
Border officials have also been increased to deal with the influx of vehicles and travellers who will be crossing from both countries.
The Lebombo Border Post is one of the busiest in the country with travellers making their way into Mozambique. Traffic is also a nightmare during this season. Law enforcement agencies and government departments unveiled their state of readiness for the festive season.
Provincial police commissioner Semakaleng Manamela says more police officers have been deployed to fight illegal activities.
“We also have some motorbike members that are going to be maneuvering in event where the congestion is very high. The motorbike drivers are going to be the one assisting to ensure that the trucks and the vehicles are being controlled. We also have the crime intelligence members who are going to be on the ground to ensure information gathering. We will know as to how we going to manage the issue of criminality.”
An increased volume of traffic and travellers is anticipated with the suspension of the COVID-19 regulations in the country
Deputy commissioner for border management authority, David Chelembe says congestion of heavy vehicles will be cleared seven kilometres before reaching the border to ease congestion.
“Currently what we do is that we make sure that all plans like your festive season plan, we coordinate the entire government departments, we have call all of them. We have looked the plan the state of readiness and we are happy about it.”
Hawkers have been seen preparing their stalls with stock ahead of the festive season. Travellers welcomed the additional police officers and border staff at the border.
“The security is not tight even this side. During the night there are many thieves here, you can’t even walk from here to the garage down there, so I know if they can beef up the security it can be good.”
Traffic congestion is already visible at the Lebombo Border Post. Border officials believe that with the early deployment, travellers will have smooth processes at the port of entry.
24 hour operation
The Lebombo Border Post now operate 24 hours a day. Authorities of both countries made the announcement of their bilateral agreement in Ressano Garcia, Mozambique in April this year. Negotiations between Mozambique and South Africa to have the Lebombo Border Post operating 24-hours began in 2015.
Authorities at the Lebombo border post arrested more than 600 hundred people trying to cross the border illegally: 24 December 2022