Zimbabwe & South Africa border authorities brace for festive season

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By Xinhua

Zimbabwean and South African border control authorities have intensified their coordination to reduce congestion at the Beitbridge border post as thousands of Zimbabweans flock back home for the festive season.

Assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge (Zimbabwe) Nqobile Ncube said that they had since harmonized operations with their South African counterparts for the period from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, state media the Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

He said the volume of incoming traffic had relatively increased and they expected it to surge until Christmas Eve.

Zimbabweans make up the largest group of immigrants in South Africa with estimates ranging from 1 million to 5 million.

He advised travellers to travel early to avoid the last-minute rush.

The Beitbridge border post, which is one of the busiest inland ports in Southern Africa, is usually heavily congested during the festive season as immigration and customs officials struggle to cope with the influx of people.