19th December, 2012
The South Africa Government have made special packages for CAF delegates as well of football teams intending to attend the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup.
This was revealed by the South African Homes Affairs Director General, Mkuseli Apleni, who stated that, dedicated lanes will be created at South Africa’s ports of entry to facilitate the swift movement of soccer fans and officials from the Confederation of African Football, CAF who will be flocking to the country for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
“Dedicated lanes will be created at ports of entry to facilitate the swift movement of the CAF delegations and spectators,” said Apleni.
The dedicated lanes will be created at Lanseria, OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International airports as well as the Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg Bridge, Kopfontein and Oshoek border posts.
Apleni said a few days before the tournament kicks off on 19 January, the department would extend working hours at key ports of entry as well as increase the number of departmental officers working at these offices during the tournament period.
While CAF officials will be able to use an official CAF letter as a form of accreditation for entry and departure, football fans are required to apply for a visitor’s visa in line with normal visa requirements.
Apleni said the department would grant visa waivers to the CAF delegation, including national teams and members of various football federations, as not all African countries were exempted from visa requirements to enter South Africa.
“We have also taken some steps to strengthen the department’s operations through the Afcon period, including the deployment of additional Home Affairs staff to South African diplomatic missions in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria in order to assist in the swift issuance of visas and work permits,” he said.
Apleni said the department’s response units in Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal would be strengthened to increase their capacity to manage illegal immigration as well as ensure swift responses to emergencies involving illegal migrants.
Meanwhile, ex-international Sam Okpodu has tipped the Super Eagles to excel at the tourney.
Okpodu, who is into coaching in the United States, said that with determination and commitment from Keshi’s team that he is sure the team can record success in South Africa.
“We have a bunch of players that are talented and have been showing some promises in the past couple of years. I believe if they can show some determination and committment that Nigeria can lift the trophy in South Africa come next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the battle for Super Eagles’ shirts among home based players currently in camp in Abuja has hot-up.
Keshi has continued intensified preparations for the tourney as he has been drilling players from the Nigeria Premier League, NPL in Abuja before the team jets out for the final phase of camping in Faro, Portugal.
The first training session had 22 players in attendance with Fengor Ogude, the only overseas player invited for the first phase camping absent because his wife was delivered of a baby girl last Friday.
The team currently trains once a day as the coaching crew finalise the names of the Europe-based players that will join the camp before they depart for Faro, Portugal on 27 December.
Keshi is expected to announce17 foreign-based players later this week.