This statement follows our oversight inspection of the Beitbridge Border post in Musina by DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Haniff Hoosen MP, DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle MPL, and DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Safety and Security, Katlego Suzan Phala MPL.
Today, the DA conducted an oversight inspection of the Beitbridge Border post in Musina following reports of extremely long queues and increasing incidences of vehicle, explosives and cigarette smuggling.
From our inspection it was clear that the level of service by staff is severely compromised due to a lack of resources, the complete breakdown of technology and the outdated computer software systems. For example, there are supposed to be 16 computers available and functioning to process people entering or leaving the border. However, only two computers are currently working.
The fact that there are only two computers available to process the high number of people who cross the border everyday confirms that Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, is completely out of touch. Minister Gigaba’s “war on queues” is clearly a farce.
The DA also heard complaints from people at the border who must pay bribes of R200 if they want to skip the long lines, caused by a severe lack of working equipment and staff and in the absence of an effective queue management system
Limpopo residents living in Musina have complained that people from Zimbabwe are able to simply walk across the border undetected. This is an indictment on the both DHA and the ANC government whose inefficiencies in allocating adequate resources to our secure the borders.
The officials at Beitbridge cannot win this fight alone, despite their genuine dedication to their work. They need the support of the DHA and border control management to effectively control the flow of people at the border post and to and secure the border from illegal immigration. However, the fact remains that inefficiencies and corruption at the DHA is responsible for the rise in illegal immigration.
There are many problems currently facing the control of illegal immigration. That the why the DA have repeatedly called for the DHA to prioritise the following:
- secure our borders and fix our fences, making it impossible for people to enter South Africa illegally;
- make legal entry as easy as possible, with an emphasis on skilled workers; and
- take stronger action against those who employ immigrants illegally.
A DA government would allocate proper resources to ensure the efficient processing of all people and goods entering the country, as well as the effective policing of trafficking and smuggling across our borders. This would go a long way to keep South Africa safe and to cutting down on illegal immigration, trafficking and smuggling.