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LISTEN | Drones, speedboats, hand-held biometric devices to help manage borders: Motsoaledi

Source: Times Lives, 16/04/2024

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi says surveillance drones, speedboats and hand-held biometric devices have been ordered to help manage the country`s porous borders.

South Africa`s land borders cover about 4,700km. Insufficient security and the poor state of fencing make the borders insecure, with foreigners entering illegally and allowing other acts of criminality.Speaking on SABC on Sunday, Motsoaledi said they have employed technology to deal with undocumented foreigners and crime syndicates at borders. “We have ordered 18 drones to be used at the borders, four speedboats and 500 hand-held gadgets that can identify you by your fingerprint,” he said. He was responding to ActionSA`s Funzi Ngobeni on empowering the Border Management Authority.

The question of South Africa`s unprotected borders has been topical for years, with some South Africans losing patience with the government`s slow progress and blaming undocumented foreigners for illegality and “taking jobs” but the police minister has said foreigners are not the primary source of crime.

Leading up to the May 29 national and provincial elections, political parties have shared their stances on the issue. The EFF wants a borderless Africa and a South Africa with no provinces. Gayton Mackenzie of the PA says “let’s fix our country first before we worry about other countries” and wants the mass deportation of foreigners. The DA has said borders must be secured and illegal immigration stopped.

In 2019, two months before national and provincial elections, then defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they would use drones and rely more on technology at borders to tackle the influx of undocumented immigrants.

South Africa Immigration Company