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Plug our porous borders

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The current unco-ordinated method of managing borders has left those living near the country’s borders vulnerable to criminal elements

Picture: Wikipedia

Parliament needs to expedite the passing of the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill to deal with the country’s porous borders.

For years, human trafficking, the transportation of hijacked or stolen vehicles and livestock, as well as the illegal crossing by people, have continued, with very little being done to stem the tide.

The bill allows for the merging of seven departments stationed at the country’s borders into one entity.

The departments of Home Affairs, Agriculture, Sars, the police and the army are some of the entities manning the borders.

The current unco-ordinated method of managing borders has left those living near the country’s borders vulnerable to criminal elements.

Last month, matters came to a head at a border when South African soldiers allegedly shot and killed two Mozambican police officers.

While neither government, nor the SANDF, who have appointed a task team to probe the incident, have revealed what led to the clash, sources believe it was linked to the rampant crime in the area.

It is extraordinary that the BMA Bill was mooted 10 years ago, before it was eventually tabled in Parliament two years ago.

Any legislation that plugs that gaps along the country’s borders is crucial, but the slow progress is cause for concern.

And until the bill is passed, those living along the country’s borders will continue to bear the brunt of the crime that takes place as a result of porous borders.