Home affairs gets OK to use soldiers

2012-11-29 22:14

Johannesburg - Using soldiers to work at ports of entry has received the nod from the Johannesburg Labour Court, a home affairs official said on Thursday.

Immigration director general Jackie McKay said the court ruled in favour of the department on Tuesday.

At issue was a project by the department to use SA National Defence Force members to man ports of entry for security reasons.

The Public Servants' Association (PSA) objected, saying this would lead to job losses for current staff at ports.

McKay said the court ruled that the employment of soldiers would not have an adverse effect on PSA members or result in job losses.

"The judge found that the objectives of the project were geared towards ensuring state security and the security of the citizens and therefore it was in the public interest that the project be implemented."

The PSA took home affairs to court after it deployed 350 soldiers at OR Tambo International Airport as part of the pilot project. Those people previously at the airport were retrained and sent elsewhere in the department, McKay said.

The PSA brought an urgent application in the labour court for an interdict to stop the department from employing SANDF members.

  • aarchaic - 2012-11-29 22:39

    Great Use the Army let them earn the money they get!

  • klasker2 - 2012-11-29 22:56

    home affairs get soldiers with ease yet the Streets of the Cape Flats are still a war zone top many innocent citizens. I guess the lives of our people arent that important.

  • nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-11-29 23:21

    Government control where bribes of illegal trades are kept in the dark.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-30 06:49

    Why are they not in stead used to patrol our borders to prohibit illegal aliens from entering our country to commit crime? That is their job. Home Affairs must use the police!

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-11-30 08:08

    About time they were put to work!

  • JamesMWood - 2012-11-30 08:24

    So its ok for soldiers to sit and watch people come and go but not to do what they were trained to do and assist in monitoring situations such as striked?

  • harold.pennington.5 - 2012-11-30 08:24

    Flip noooo - the army in an airport is seriously not good. Declare a state of emergency, implement martial law, and prevent anyone from leaving. NO NO NO it's a civilian operation NOT a military one!

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