SAfrica govt: WCup surge of visitors continues

Jun 22, 2010 - 6:28 PM By LESEGO MOTSHEGWA Associated Press Writer

PRETORIA, South Africa(AP) -- Foreign visitors continue to make their way to South Africa as the World Cup enters a crucial phase, the nation's home affairs minister said Tuesday.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, dressed in the Bafana Bafana's yellow soccer jersey, told a news conference that the total of foreign visitors this month had passed 682,000 - up from more than 456,000 as of June 13.

"This is quite a sizable increase from last year's figures," Dlamini-Zuma said. "We are happy with the way things are going."

Many of the visitors are from neighboring countries in southern Africa and aren't necessarily heading to World Cup matches. But the minister said the arrivals also include large numbers of Britons, Americans, Germans, Brazilians and others with a team still in contention.

She said 15 troublesome Argentine fans were expected to be deported by Wednesday. They'd been taken into custody by officers who raided their lodgings at a Christian college in Pretoria.

Through use of a system called Advance Passenger Processing, the Home Affairs Department has registered 34 travelers in June who were denied permission to depart for South Africa by air or land due to their travel documents not meeting immigration requirements.

An additional 95 people were blocked from South Africa-bound flights through coordination with airlines, the minister said.

During the same period, the department has recorded 12,157 alerts at various ports of entry, where individuals were found to have improper or insufficient travel documents.

Dlamini-Zuma also said her department has established a special unit to track people who overstay their visas after the World Cup, "making sure that people leave at the time they said that they would leave."

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