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S. Africa moves to address congestions at border posts

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South Africa will deploy additional immigration and health officials, and inspectors at the country’s border posts to ease congestion starting on Jan. 2, said Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday.

Motsoaledi made the remarks at a press briefing about immigration matters and border law enforcement under the adjusted COVID-19 level-three lockdown. He said that they expect a massive movement of people into the country and they want to ensure their smooth travel.

“Home Affairs will deploy an additional 160 officials at six busiest land ports of entry to process returning travelers until Jan.14,” said Motsoaledi, adding that they will be deployed at the border posts with Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Botswana.

Motsoaledi said another 60 additional immigration law enforcement officers will be deployed to support the soldiers at identified high-risk areas along the borderline where people cross illegally into South Africa.

He said the health department will deploy additional port health officials to all ports of entry to ensure that only travelers with valid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are allowed into the country.

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“South Africa will not allow any traveler into the country without a valid PCR test or the antigen tests for COVID-19,” he said.

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