South Africa’s uncoordinated border management vulnerable – Home Affairs

Five uncoordinated organs of state are currently involved in managing the country’s borders, resulting in a large influx of undocumented foreigners and contraband goods, Parliament’s home affairs committee heard on Tuesday.

Just under 9 000 employees were involved in border management and the various players focused on their own mandates at the expense of border security, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said.

He was making a presentation to MPs on the draft Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill, which would see a single border authority set up at South Africa‘s ports of entry.

President Jacob Zuma referred to efforts to establish a new border control authority in his State Of the Nation Address in 2009. In June 2013, Cabinet approached Parliament to draft legislation.

Apleni said South Africa received among the highest number of asylum seekers in Africa and the country’s border management was vulnerable. Border security globally had been increased and it was not an issue unique to South Africa.

Over 39-million people moved through South Africa‘s borders annually. The country’s borders stretch for 4 471 km, including the landlocked border with Lesotho, and have 72ports of entry.