According to Ports and Ships website, Durban's department of Immigration reacted strongly to the website's report of immigration officials clamping down on seafarers coming ashore. The report, KZN Director of Home Affairs Tersia Hanekom, said, is "all lies".
In the report the International Transport Federation's representative in Durban, Sprite Zungu, was quoted saying that seafarers had to be taken to Home Affairs offices in town on the ship's arrival to have their passports stamped. "It's as though [immigration officials] don't want to do their jobs any longer," he said.
"That's simply not true," Hanekom said, adding that immigration officials visit every ship arriving and leaving the Port of Durban "to clear the vessels, not the crew." Crew arriving in the country by ship were required by law to be taken to the immigration offices and have their passports stamped. Home Affairs department could then check whether they were "wanted by other law enforcement agencies or were known terrorists." In the past, Hanekom said, Home Affairs did not have sufficient personnel to process ships' crew fully. That had now changed, with more Home Affairs staff being trained and made available in Durban.
Asked why Home Affairs did not provide facilities in the port itself, Hanekom said it was a logistical problem, Ports and Ships website reports.
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Read Ports and Ships website's original reports.