Extended border hours for South Africa’s Easter travel surge

As Easter approaches, South Africa braces for a massive influx of travelers crossing its borders. With an estimated one million individuals expected to traverse the country’s border posts, this annual pilgrimage takes on added significance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Mike Masiapato leads the charge at the Border Management Agency. He asserts that this year’s Easter exodus represents more than just a routine surge in travel.

“We’re witnessing a convergence of traditions and resilience,” Masiapato remarks.

“It’s not merely about the numbers but about the spirit of renewal that permeates these journeys.”

Border authorities extend checkpoint hours

In anticipation of heightened activity, border authorities are extending operating hours at key checkpoints, a proactive measure aimed at facilitating smooth transitions for travelers.

SA News reports that Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs and chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee on Border Management, has approved extending operating hours for certain ports.

This move comes amidst the backdrop of the ZCC’s anticipated Easter pilgrimage to Moria. It underscores the cultural significance intertwined with the logistical challenges of border management.

Additionally, reflecting on past trends, Masiapato highlights the critical ports of entry that bear the brunt of this annual migration. From Beitbridge to Zimbabwe to Lebombo into Mozambique, these gateways serve as conduits for a diverse array of travelers, each with their own stories and aspirations.

Masiapato issues stern warning

However, amidst the anticipation and celebration, Masiapato issues a stern warning to would-be offenders looking to exploit the system.

“We remain vigilant against illegal activities,” he asserts. “Whether it’s contraband goods or illicit movement, our resolve to uphold the law remains unwavering.”

As South Africa gets ready to welcome travelers from nearby and distant places, the Easter period is more than just about planning—it represents a story of strength and togetherness..


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