High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

Ressano Garcia border opens 24 hours a day over festive season

Maputo, 13 Dec (AIM) – As of 12 December, the main border post between Mozambique and South Africa at Ressano Garcia will remain open 24 hours a day in preparation for the busy holiday period.

It is estimated that about 300,000 people will cross the Mozambican borders over the period, with 250,000 of them passing through Ressano Garcia. Most of the other border crossings will take place in Ponta do Ouro (on the border with the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal), Goba, and Namaacha (both on the border with Eswatini), which will be open between 7 am and 6 pm.

Speaking in Ressano Garcia on Sunday at the launch of Operation Assantissana, the General Commander of the Mozambican police, Bernardino Rafael, stressed that everyone involved must behave correctly to facilitate the movement of goods and people. He warned that if irregularities are detected everyone involved will be removed from duty and disciplinary proceedings instituted.

The operation will focus on protecting the comfort and safety of travellers and will also involve setting up roadblocks to check vehicles and prevent speeding. However, Rafael stressed that only these named checkpoints will be able to stop and question travellers with the police instructed to prioritise giving advice and civic education.

An important part of the operation is to ensure that merchandise can enter the country in time for the festive period. To facilitate this, a truck stop is located seven kilometres inside the South African border which will deal with processing visas and clearing goods. On the Mozambican side of the border, customs clearance will take place at the KM4 terminal.

A further complication this year is that travellers must submit a negative PCR test to prove that they do not have Covid-19. According to the National Immigration Service (SENAMI), rapid tests and PCR tests will be available free of charge at all border crossings. To avoid delays, the Mozambican authorities have been working with their South African counterparts to ensure that the PCR tests for Mozambican miners working in South Africa are taken at the mines.

Operation Assantissana will take place between 12 December and 9 January.