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Govt to crack down on unaccompanied children entering SA through borders

Source: EWN, 28/03/2024

The Border Management Authority wants Zimbabwean children entering South Africa by themselves to carry their passports.
A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier walks along the border fence that separates South Africa and Zimbabwe, near the Beitbridge border post, near Musina, on January 8, 2021. Picture: Guillem Sartorio/AFP
JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Social Development and the Border Management Authority (BMA) say they will crack down on the influx of unaccompanied children entering the country through the Beitbridge and Grobler`s Bridge borders.
This follows a meeting with Zimbabwean authorities who discussed how operations would be intensified to put a stop to the practice during the Easter long weekend.
Border management said Zimbabwean children entering South Africa by themselves must carry their passports.
The department’s Lumka Oliphant said this would ensure the safety of children moving between the two countries.
“Officials from the Department of Social Development will be on-site in Beitbridge and Grobler`s Bridge over Easter to make sure that the processing of children is in accordance with the law.
“The Department of Social Development is obligated to make sure that all children within its borders get the necessary care and protection.”
Oliphant said with an influx of travellers expected at the border, officials will be vigilant in their efforts to combat child trafficking.
“UNICEF [United Nations Children`s Fund] estimates that South Africa has the largest number of children on the move. The department will also send its officials who work in the Directorate of Trafficking in Persons and Victim Empowerment Programme to highlight and prevent any person from being trafficked.”

South Africa Immigration Company