Today, on our oversight inspection of the Maseru Bridge Border Post in the Free State. We had an opportunity to speak with officials representing the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Revenue Service. We were left deeply concerned about the lack of resources which continue to compromise the security of the border.
These deficits in our system contribute to the expansion of organised crime syndicates and stock theft because the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee has been an abysmal failure from its conception to its execution.
The most shocking failure has been the failure of Border Control authorities to effectively use technology to facilitate better border management. From a comprehensive Parliamentary briefing by the now-retired Free State Provincial Police Commissioner, the DA understands that not all equipment at the Border Post has been used including drug testing equipment primarily because it was provided without training.
Moreover, there were no truck scanners and only seven vehicles of which two vehicles are in a poor condition.
The Department has consistently faced with computers which were overloaded and regularly offline. Although they have 30 workstations, they were not fully staffed with only 15 staff members per shift.
We were informed today that the border post facilitates the movement of up to 12 000 people per day. In what world can we expect an 18 member per shift to deal with 12 000 people per year in addition to cars, trucks and goods trains?
The ANC government has failed to ensure that our landward borders are properly protected so that we are not vulnerable to organised crime syndicates, illegal immigrants, stock thieves and the drugs that have ravaged so many of our communities already.
It is vital that the government take a more proactive role in securing our porous borders. The new Border Management Authority is itself a clear indication that the ANC government is out of touch and out of ideas. The ANC has shown itself ill-equipped for the task of keeping South Africans safe.
The DA has a plan to create a sleek, effective coordinating entity as opposed to the ANC’s cumbersome, bureaucratic body designed to feed the machinery of State Capture under the control of the Gupta-linked Malusi Gigaba.
The DA stands ready to create a safer, dignified and equal society for all.