Land, air or sea, SA's borders vulnerable

2011-11-08 22:39

Cape Town - South Africa's 4 800km of land border fences remain vulnerable, SA Revenue Service commissioner Oupa Magashule told MPs on Tuesday.

"Our borderline fences are vulnerable, radar coverage of our airspace is insufficient and our vast maritime border is under-patrolled," Magashule told Parliament's portfolio committee on police.

He said nearly 32 million people moved in and out of South Africa's borders in 2010, with the bulk of foreign travellers - 8.3 million - arriving by road.

This saw an average of 600 trucks a day moving through the Beit Bridge and Lebombo border posts.

In the past year, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had seized contraband, drugs and undeclared goods worth R1bn in about 20 000 operations.

But the ports of entry were still plagued by corruption and poor security.

According to a submission by the department of home affairs, the number of foreigners settling in South Africa's border areas had grown rapidly.

Surveys showed that some 80% of these people were in the country illegally and 43% were unemployed.

Their presence drew more foreigners from South Africa's neighbouring states and often contributed to security problems along the borders, the committee heard.

Cultural similarities meant the migrants were often difficult to identify as foreigners.

Magashule said the answer to porous borders lay in better co-ordination between customs, the police, the defence force, the justice department, home affairs, the intelligence services and international relations.

To this end, the Inter Agency Clearing Forum (IACF) - established last year with a view to the 2010 FIFA World Cup - had continued its co-operation in an informal fashion beyond the soccer tournament.

A proposal had now been submitted to Cabinet to formalise the IACF and to strengthen the structures of the various departments playing a role in border security, Magashule said.

  • Phil.Kleynhans - 2011-11-09 00:09

    Its been allowed. All alien people costs the goverment billions. Our unemployment rate is increasing. They come to steal and kill. All because there is no control. Which means in all aspects the ANC has no control in nothing. Such as fraud , crime, governance and even Malema

      Ian - 2011-11-09 09:58

      I don't think they need to worry about people getting in, it's the people that want to get OUT that they should worry about!

      Spyker - 2011-11-09 12:20

      Matters are in fact much worse... MOODY'S CHANGES SA OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE Read the above article and see how the post-Polokwane ‘07 fascist ANC policies are taking SA to the edge of an economic abyss. The ANC WILL destroy SA, it is no longer a debate, the only variable is “WHEN”..? Eg: - Wal-Mart has contingency plans in place for SA to be in full civil war by 2015 (apparently based on a high-level “scenario” investigation involving the CIA). - In anticipation of the same scenario, the venue for the new Bond movie was hastily changed, away from Cape Town (based on the same high-level “scenario” investigation). - Now Moody’s is sending a veiled message to investors. IF YOU WANT A FUTURE FOR YOUR CHILDREN- AND THEIRS – WE HAVE TO RISE UP AND OBLITERATE THE ANC, IN ITS ENTIRETY, AT ALL- AND EVERY COST... The WAR FOR THE INTELLECTUAL LIBERATION OF SOUTH AFRICA has started. W_I_N__L_I_S_A --- _W_ar for the _IN_tellectual _LI_beration of _SA_ “Lisa” will become a symbolic figure for the Intellectual Emancipation of SA. LET THE ‘SAcan SUMMER’ START NOW...!!!

  • marks.sandi - 2011-11-09 00:45

    The priority of any government is to protect their people, unfortunately it is not the case with the ANC government.The open border policy stretches our resources such as the police, health care,housing, benefit and many more. The government need to protect our borders.We can't allow these foreigners to come and destroy our country.

  • Patrick - 2011-11-09 04:04

    Be prepared for the next arms deal scandal.

  • Fred - 2011-11-09 04:15

    So why did you waste all that money on an arms deal for equipment we do not need? What use are billion rand frigates, submarines and jet fighters stopping illegal entries? Oh, I forgot, it is to repel the Americans **** **** That was the actual answer given to me by a SA Navy Officer when I asked him why we bought submarines and frigates instead of maritime patrol aircraft and small craft capable of dealing with illegal fishing in SA waters.

      Cameron - 2011-11-09 07:14

      what?? surely you must be joking, nobody could be that retarded to say something as ridiculous as that! ah yes I forget our government run by rocket scientists say and do (or dont do) awe inspiring things on a daily basis, how is it possible that this great nation can be sliding backwards so badly, I was surprised when after doing the road name changes (which were totally pointless) they didnt rename us to Zimbabwe. eish we need to sort things out and quickly before its to late, theres still some hope

      Hugh - 2011-11-09 10:09

      Dear Fred, you are talking absolute crap. The comments from an actual Naval officer?? A fragment of your imagination. At the time he (This fictitious officer)did not have a single long range defence ship to go to sea with. Not a single submarine to patrol with, now why would he make a comment like that do you think? You are a blatant liar. (Ex SAN CPO Ret)

  • RokitScience - 2011-11-09 04:40

    "To all criminals entering our border, please pay tax for all your illegal dealings, contribute in some way please" This is absurd, we are becoming a hub for crime, drugs and all things evil. "Who cares, we want to have a R1000000 party, screw the fence". As a South-African I once again declare that our government have hidden agendas and don't care about elevating poverty or fighting crime... This has been going on for way too long. What do we do???

  • Thanani - 2011-11-09 05:04

    The problem with immigrants cannot be solved in one day. Since most of them may be illegal, it means they are difficult to control just as we have failed to combat crime with our own borders. I don't agree with those who say foreigners are responsible for the crime rate. In actual fact, our environment is a breeding ground for crime. A robber or murderer is arrested today with an unlicensed fire arm, and tomorrow is granted bail. So foreign criminal are smarter, by simply taking advantage of our lax judiciary system. Zimbabwe has been mismanaged, but the statistics of robberies and murder cases are very low. The reason is that, a criminal in Zim has no rights and you die in jail because you are a threat to the people. Zimbabwean criminal find it easy here because our systems are very poor. I also heard you get a prison sentence if found with an unlicensed gun and there is no bail for such people. We are the main culprits for our own problems. lets not blame foreigners.

      RokitScience - 2011-11-09 10:48

      Considering that 43% (as stated on article) of these foreigners are unemployed, and 20 000 police operations (you know stopping drug trafficking etc) within a year seized R1bn wort of contraband, I think it does point at foreigners...However to some extent I do agree with you, as our own officials are corrupt and thus allow for these problems to continue! SA is way to relaxed with criminal prosecution, but hey we relaxed in preventing crime in the first place... All that our current government can do is "fix it when she is broken"

  • Nicholas Rogerson - 2011-11-09 06:02

    This is why RDP housing never reaches its goal, and there are still squatter camps. You cannot build houses for the whole of Africa.

      Cameron - 2011-11-09 07:16

      very well said Nic, tighten up the borders so we can do some spring cleaning and begin clearing out the garbage

  • davidfarrellza - 2011-11-09 06:27

    No one is illegal.

      hondbyt - 2011-11-09 07:40

      Hahahaha, go fly a kite you damn dirty hippy! Only once you've experienced a crime caused by ILLEGAL immigrants (and here in SA loads of vile crimes are perpetrated daily by ILLEGALS) are you allowed to express your liberal pommie views. Fool!

  • brad.norval - 2011-11-09 07:28

    I stay in Nelspruit and this is all over our local paper. There are huge stretches where the entire fence has been removed! There is just no control here at the border.

  • Mike - 2011-11-09 07:31

    Switch on the electric fence

  • Elle-Black - 2011-11-09 07:34

    There is no control in SA,the people that jump the border illegally are notr here to be upstanding citizens they come here to do crime,which they get away with. After they kill and steal they go back home for a few months and come in again to continue, i'm just so sick of it. Twice in my life i've been robbed at gun point and both times it was foreigners, Zimboz and mozambicans to be precise

      Guy - 2011-11-09 08:46

      elle- black surmises a lot, in reality most illegals entering this country find jobs because they are better educated and skilled than the locals and want to make a succes against enormous odds. The next time you get served in a restaurant your chances are excellent that the waitron is from over the borders. our building industry thrives on mocambiquians as does the gardening services.

  • Winsome - 2011-11-09 08:20

    So where is the Army to do border patrols? Where is the Air Force for air satellite surveillance? And the Navy is supposed to patrol the seas off our coast. What do they all do in peace time? Oh yes, sit on their b*ms!

      Guy - 2011-11-09 08:55

      Winsome The hugely resourced us cannot and could not stop millions of mexicans entering the us illegally, we do not have anything like that in place hence we will not succeed to control foreign entry. We must rather find more intelligent ways to manage this issue somehow. perhaps let qualified workers in after a efficient vetting process.

      Hugh - 2011-11-09 10:13

      No, the defence budget is so small they run out of money within 6 months. The fuel is used up and all operations come to a halt.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2011-11-09 09:10

    Arms deal?? Money?? Squander?? Lies?? Saving face?? Two faced?? Weakness?? Soulless??

  • Cameron - 2011-11-09 09:17

    @guy - but surely the U.S (as big as they are) still make an effort! do they not? Australia has the same problem with asia yet they still try! I doubt I stand alone when I say u cannot compare the efforts of those 2 nations efforts to ours! Like it or not, we have a major problem here and the only way to deal with it is to deal with it, which it might be, but with a half arsed approach at best

  • Lauden Kirk - 2011-11-09 09:23

    Let's reverse the situation. The ones that make SA happen let's go do what criminals do? Let's go rape the land of Africa Adams use the criminals to our benefit. Then we can see what the situation will be. We have 5% of good working god fearing citizens left hoping the next 95% actually change. 95% are useless no moral criminals. Let's see if they like there own medicine. 5% is there black white Indian clrd tall short fat ugly sexy that are good people. ( for the racist idiots out there that use race for bad behavior and squander ) 95% of the rest f@ck idiots that ate lazy tacking selfish criminals that truly believe that the 5% actually owe you some thing. Class, love, richness and peace of mind cant be bought with money or crime. You born with morals. Useless idiots.

  • Malette - 2011-11-09 10:52

    Why don't all the useless unemployed masses we're supporting go make themselves useful and man the borders? They'll be able to stand shoulder to shoulder, two man deep, after all. I'll feel a hell of a lot better about supporting them financially, as we do, if they do something constructive ASwell!!!

      Guy - 2011-11-09 12:14

      malette... Unemployed people are not useless they are unemployed, that is enough of a challenge already,not only here but anywhere.Berating that fact does nothing but venting your emotions. i have a beautiful friend who is unemployed ,degreed, and day after day trying to change her situation

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