Johannesburg: A record number of people crossed South Africa’s Komatipoort border with Mozambique this festive season, state media reported Thursday. Almost 85,000 people entered the country through the post from December 22 to 25, according to Noticias newspaper.
The influx peaked on December 23 and 24, the Mozambican deputy national migrations director Leonardo Boby, told the newspaper.
Over the two days more than 61,600 people arrived in the Ressano Garcia border town, over 3000 more than the same period last year, he said.
A 16-kilometre line formed from the border post across the Crocodile River in South Africa on Christmas eve as Mozambican migrant workers returned home and South African holiday-makers travelled northwards to the country’s pristine beaches, according to the newspaper.
The southern Mozambican town Inhambane was swamped with tourists filling its 14,000 beds.
Traffic in the town and from neighbouring holiday hotspots — Tofo, Tofinho and Barra — flooded the small roads to such a degree that traffic officers had to direct motorists.
Return traffic to South Africa after the festive season is expected to peak on January 2. The crossing will be open 24 hours a day until January 17.