Saturday, 28 July 2018

SA BEEFS UP BEITBRIDGE STAFF AHEAD OF POLLS

THE South African government has deployed more immigration officials at its side of the Beitbridge Border Post in anticipation of increased traffic ahead of the harmonised elections on Monday.
South Africa’s Home Affairs Department in a statement posted on its Twitter account yesterday said 37 more officials have been deployed to the port of entry.

“In anticipation of higher traveller volumes ahead of the election in Zimbabwe, the Department of Home Affairs has announced the deployment of additional staff to the Beitbridge Port of Entry,” reads the statement.

“Thirty-Seven officers have been deployed from the 26 July to 03 August 2018 to beef up existing human resources capacity.

“The announcement of additional staff comes within the context of determination and commitment of the department to ensure delivery of efficient and professional immigration services as part of our responsibility to facilitate smooth movement of people, goods and services during this period.”

Home Affairs and Culture Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said immigration authorities on the Zimbabwean side were also on high alert ahead of the elections.

“This is an administrative matter. But we have informed our authorities to act accordingly as they monitor the traffic and activities at the border. We expect that the public will get the best service,” said Dr Mpofu.
In an interview, Zimbabwe’s Consul-General to South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro said his office does not have statistics on the number of South Africa based Zimbabweans who registered to vote.

He said he was therefore not in a position to comment on whether there will be more Zimbabweans coming home to vote.

Mr Mukonoweshuro said it was routine that when immigration officers are expecting an increase in the number of travellers, they beef up staff.

“Normally contingency measures are put every school holiday, every holiday like the Easter, Heroes or Christmas, it’s just a standing measure meant to decongest the border. I’m not very sure whether the South African decision was informed by any statistics,” said Mr Mukonoweshuro. Herald

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