THE leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane, said the country’s border posts such as Matsamo in Jeppes Reef in Nkomazi, were failing to protect residents from criminal activities such as cross border crime, human trafficking, illegal immigration and other related crimes.
Maimane was speaking at a public meeting in Hectorspruit on April 13. He said the border posts were dysfunctional as a result of being understaffed, under-equipped and poorly maintained.
“Our border posts are meant to protect South Africans and their interests, but they don’t. Instead, they are weak and vulnerable to exploitation and pose a risk to all South Africans.
“The borders and border posts have become easy pickings for those who want to enter our country illegally, or conduct illegal activities on both sides of the border,’’ said Maimane.
He said it was mostly poor South Africans, and not the rich and powerful in government, who bear the brunt of this problem, adding that no country in the world could afford to turn a blind eye to the comings and goings across its borders.
“Yet our government has allowed the situation here to deteriorate to the point where some
stretches of our land borders are a complete free-for-all.”
Maimane went on to share light on the DA’s plan to address and restore borders and reform Home Affairs to rid it of “debilitating corruption and incompetence”.
He said their plan included auditing, properly recording and, where appropriate, regularising all undocumented foreign nationals already in the country.
He added that his party would make legal entry and residence easier for skilled immigrants and businesses from all countries, especially from within Africa. We will also help South Africans to travel and do business, and we will assist those wanting to live, work and trade in South Africa legally,” Maimane said.
He also promised to assist and support asylum seekers and the protection of refugees and those who have been trafficked across SA borders.
After the meeting, Maimane did a walk-about in various communities in Nkomazi.