The Department of Home Affairs says 74% of all airlines flying to South Africa are now using an Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) system that allows immigration officials to bar undesirable elements from entering the country.
The success of such cooperation is evident through the interception and deportation of Argentinian and British soccer hooligans over the past few weeks, deputy minister Malusi Gigaba says. “We continue to provide the necessary support for the ongoing and successful hosting of the World Cup,” he says. “The systems we have put in place will remain to serve the broader interests of our country and as part of the legacy of the 2010 World Cup.” The APP was introduce last November.
Gigaba adds immigration records show for the period of June 1 to 29 June a total of 944 535 foreign travellers arrived at SA’s ports of entry, marking a 24% increase from 760 201 in the same period in 2009. “The total number of arrivals of both foreigners and citizens for the period of June 1 to 29 is 1 298 305 compared to 1 036 610 in 2009.”
The top 15 nationalities visiting the country during this period remain Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana followed by the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, The Netherlands, Zambia and Malawi.
“Through our Movement Control System, launched in conjunction with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and is linked to the South African Police Service and [SARS] Customs, we have now facilitated the departure of 23 national teams which unfortunately did not qualify for either the last sixteen or the quarter finals of the World Cup: Greece, Nigeria, Serbia, Slovenia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Korea DPR, Cote d’ Ivoire, Honduras, Mexico, Switzerland, Korea Republic, USA, England, Australia, France, Cameroon, Algeria, Japan, Slovakia, Portugal and Chile.
“Through the Movement Control System we were also able to facilitate the safe and secure movement of 24 serving and former Heads of State and Government, Gigaba adds.
“Through our Airline Liaison Officers stationed in Amsterdam, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Lagos, London, Mumbai and Nairobi, a total of 180 passengers were denied entry into South Africa from June 1- 29 for various reasons including being in possession of fraudulent permits, visa and stamps, contradictory reasons for visiting the country or having been placed on South Africa’s Visa and Entry Stop List.”