Home Affairs ready for 2010 SWC

2010-04-14 17:05

Cape Town - Free visas, an advanced passenger processing system and dedicated express lanes at airports are among preparations being made by home affairs to help its officials process the thousands of international football fans set to arrive for the 2010 World Cup.

"Home affairs stands ready to welcome the multitude of soccer fans from across the globe," Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told MPs in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Opening debate on her department's budget vote, she said all holders of a valid Fifa match ticket were eligible to apply for a visa, should they need one, free of charge.

"We have introduced an advanced passenger processing system for airlines flying into South Africa. The system enables the screening of passengers before they depart.

"There will (also) be dedicated express ways at selected international airports..." she said.

24/7 service

A 24-hour operations centre had been established in Pretoria to handle any problems that might arise.

Briefing the media earlier on Wednesday, Dlamini-Zuma said her department was also setting up a system to track and facilitate the movement of foreign visitors around the country.

"We are making sure we have an integrated system at our ports of entry that can assist us both in the security, but also in the facilitation of movement of people.

"We are happy to say that is on course. The system is now being piloted at OR Tambo International Airport, and as soon as we are satisfied, we'll be rolling it out to the major - about 34 - ports of entry," she said.