More than 700,000 entries and exits counted at SA borders in May

27 July 2021 - 14:23 By shonisani tshikalange
East and Central Africa had the highest proportion of its tourists who came to SA for medical treatment, followed by West Africa and North Africa. File photo.
East and Central Africa had the highest proportion of its tourists who came to SA for medical treatment, followed by West Africa and North Africa. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Lesotho are among the 10 leading Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries in terms of the number of tourists who visited SA in May 2021.

This is according to the tourism and migration statistical report released by Stats SA on Tuesday. The report provides information on SA residents and foreign travellers who entered or left the country in May.

“The 10 leading Sadc countries in terms of the number of tourists visiting SA in May 2021 were: Mozambique 46,653 (29.5%); Zimbabwe 33,343 (21.1%); Lesotho 32,702 (20.7%); Eswatini 16,225 (10.3%); Namibia 8,489 (5.4%); Botswana 8,075 (5.1%); Zambia 5,714 (3.6%); Malawi 4,122 (2.6%); Tanzania 1,131 (0.7%); and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 984 (0.6%),” read the report.

Data shows in May, 735,165 travellers (arrivals, departures and transits) passed through SA ports of entry and exit.

The data collected by department of home affairs immigration officers at the ports of entry into and out of SA shows the travellers were made up of 239,831 SA residents and 495,334 foreign travellers.

The 10 leading countries in terms of the number of tourists visiting SA in May from “other” African countries were: Nigeria 1,009 (25.0%); Ghana 711 (17.6%); Kenya 582 (14.4%); Uganda 379 (9.4%); Ethiopia 248 (6.2%); Egypt 152 (3.8%); Cameroon 148 (3.7%); Gabon 129 (3.2%); Congo 74 (2.1%); and Morocco 52 (1.3%).

The report showed tourists from these 10 countries constituted 86.4% of all tourists from “other” African countries.

Data showed most African tourists, 147,875 (91.2%), came to SA on holiday.

“Medical treatment tourists constituted 0.8% (33) of tourists from ‘other’ African countries, while those from the Sadc constituted 0.2% (263) of tourists. East and Central Africa, 1.2% (20), had the highest proportion of its tourists who came for medical treatment followed by West Africa, 0.6% (12), and North Africa, 0.3% (1),” read the report.

A further breakdown of the figures for SA residents indicates there were 117,782 arrivals, 121,937 departures and 112 travellers in transit. The corresponding volume for foreign arrivals, departures and travellers in transit was 258,521, 230,012 and 6,801 respectively.

A comparison between the movements in May 2020 and May 2021 is not included as there was a hard lockdown in May 2020 and only essential services providers were allowed to travel.

A comparison between the movements in April 2021 and May 2021 shows the volume of arrivals increased for both groups of travellers, and departures decreased for SA residents but increased for foreign travellers.

“Travellers in transit increased for both groups of travellers. For South African residents, the volume of arrivals increased by 0.2% (from 117,557 in April 2021 to 117,782 in May 2021), departures decreased by 3.5% (from 126,417 in April to 121,937 in May) and transits increased by 89.8% (from 59 in April to 112 in May).

“For foreign travellers, arrivals increased by 4.1% (from 248,314 in April to 258,521 in May), departures increased by 5.3% (from 218,493 in April to 230,012 in May) and transits increased by 12.7% (from 6,035 in April to 6,801 in May).”

According to data, in May 39,128 (15.1%) of foreign arrivals were classified as non-visitors and 219,393 (84.9%) were classified as visitors.

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