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Border control: SA’s biggest foreign-policy failure since democracy

Source: Business Day, 30/04/2020

The latest experiment in border management should hardly surprise us.
But it’s another depressing sign that SA is nowhere close to really
dealing with its biggest foreign-policy failure since democracy: how
to properly manage the movement of people between our two states.
Ostensibly to prevent the spread of Covid-19, closing the borders has
simply worsened a desperate situation for Zimbabweans who rely on
being able to travel to and from SA to buy food at prices that aren’t
extortionate.
The fence itself, built in recent weeks, has done little to halt
determined border hoppers and smugglers. We don’t know how many
Zimbabweans work in SA ` estimates vary wildly ` but SA should be
open to its hard-working neighbours in a way that benefits both
countries. Key to that is strong, fair, border management.
It would surely give the tax authorities a better handle on what it
can expect from economically active citizens. And it might just help
diminish the xenophobia that periodically rips through SA
communities. What’s clear is that a porous R37m fence isn’t the
answer.
www.samigration.com


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