Illegal border crossing between Mozambique and South Africa near the Lebombo Border Post in Mpumalanga continues to be a major problem. On Thursday alone, more than 600 people were arrested and deported for attempting to cross the border in the Nkomazi area.
Law enforcement agencies had their hands full as many travellers especially on the N4 road were heading to their various destinations on Christmas eve.
This year, authorities had a new plan to deal with traffic congestion at the Lebombo Border Post. Port Manager, Colonel Obed Maditsi, says they also managed to strengthen the security around the Lebombo borderline.
As a result, more than 600 people were deported to Mozambique after attempting to cross the border illegally.
“We developed a plan, that was planning around exactly for four months before the festive season. We decided that we are going to use part of the N4 where we direct vehicles into kilometre seven. We are going to use it as part of our plan to have a roadblock there. So that road can be utilised as an eastbound traffic flow. In terms of the borderline, the SANDF developed a plan which we managed to seal off the whole borderline from here to Zulu crossing which is about 600 kilometres the main port of entry.”
The border post has been experiencing high traffic volumes:
The Department of Safety, Security and Liaison says more traffic officers were deployed to monitor major routes.
“We have identified roads that we consider problematic in terms of the crashes,” says Safety Security and Liaison Spokesperson, Moeti Mmusi.
Some of the holidaymakers who were travelling to Mozambique say the police presence is appreciated.
“The police are assisting on the road and telling people not to overload,” says one of them.
Another traveller says; “The border is too full as you can see and we driving from Gauteng. The road is very busy. But with the presence of the police on the roads, everything is okay. I’m going to Maputo to visit my family and I will come back in January. Well, I think it is better than the past two years.”
Since the beginning of the festive season, more than 100 people have died on the roads in Mpumalanga.
In the video below is the report from Lebombo Border Post