50 000 expected to cross Lebombo border in 24 hours

2014-12-24 12:27

More than 50 000 people are expected to cross the Lebombo border between Mpumalanga and Mozambique today.

Mpumalanga community safety, security and liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe and provincial police commissioner Major-General Meshack Nogwanya inspected the border post today to assess its readiness.

“According to the usual trend, from last night to at least midday [today] or over 24 hours, more than 50 000 are expected to cross,” said Shongwe.

Both South Africa and Mozambique needed to find better ways to deal with congestion at ports of entry.

“Officials are working under very congested conditions and can make mistakes or let things slip through just so that they can rest,” he said.

“So we, as South Africa, must have a better relationship with Mozambique and sit and plan better ways to ease the officials’ workload.

“However, as we speak, much has been done, and conditions are much better than years ago,” said Shongwe.

His visit sought to give moral support to officials from various departments, including the South African Revenue Service, the police and the army.

“We know that at such busy times corruption is rife and some [weak] officials risk the country by allowing illegal or stolen goods to cross the entry points,” Shongwe said.

“So we are warning ... those officials that, if [they are] caught, they are going to be arrested and be flushed off from the system.”

While at the Lebombo border, his delegation saw border officials seize a stolen truck and motorbikes which were being transported to Mozambique.

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