ActionSA wants an SANDF that can respond to any threat to South Africa

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Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA party claims that it will, if elected, establish a well-equipped, well-resourced, and professional South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that is ready to respond to any threat to South Africa’s security.

This is according to its elections manifesto, which outlines a number of defence and security priorities. One at the top of the list is border security and illegal immigration.

“South Africa’s existing immigration policies and porous borders have created an environment where it is generally easier for foreign nationals to illegally cross our borders than it is to enter the country legally. This is problematic because illegal immigration undermines the rule of law, and it creates a perceived sense of competition between citizens and foreign nationals for scarce resources in our country. This can lead to xenophobic attacks, which ActionSA unreservedly condemns.

“ActionSA will resolve South Africa’s immigration crisis by reforming immigration policies to be more efficient and promote legal entry into our country. ActionSA will additionally harness the potential of immigration trends to increase economic growth and promote prosperity,” the party said.

To strengthen South Africa’s borders, ActionSA will improve the surveillance and management of the borders by deploying the Border Management Authority (BMA), enhancing collaboration efforts between the South African Police Service, SANDF, and the BMA to ensure borders are monitored effectively.

In addition to deploying more law enforcement authorities to South Africa’s borders, ActionSA will implement technological solutions to better monitor the transnational flow of goods and people between South Africa and its neighbouring countries. The Department of Home Affairs will be reformed to further streamline legal immigration.

Establishing law and order

ActionSA believes the criminal justice system is failing law-abiding South Africans. Instances of rape, murder, and assault have become widespread, and the corrupt abuse their power in leadership positions for greed and self-enrichment at the expense of South Africans. “These criminal actions often go unpunished due to low prosecution and conviction rates, which ultimately results in public distrust of an over-burdened criminal justice system.”

ActionSA pledges to reform the criminal justice system to ensure that criminals receive harsher punishments and ensure respect for the rule of law is entrenched at all levels of society.

Regarding policing, ActionSA promises to launch a recruitment drive to expand the police service and establish it as a desirable career opportunity to ensure that talented and committed people join the police service. ActionSA says it will support the professional development of South Africa’s Police Service through a number of interventions, and increase the police presence to deter crime.

“We will reduce the government’s expenditure on VIP protection and reallocate these funds towards crime prevention and visible policing. An ActionSA-led government will invest in the construction of more police stations, and we will introduce mobile police infrastructure so that more people have access to police services in remote areas. This will increase the capacity of our police service to prevent and investigate crime more effectively.”

ActionSA will also establish more specialised units to combat crime (including rural safety, anti-gangsterism, financial crimes, organised crime, and economic sabotage); make greater use of police reservists; better compensate police officers; decentralise some policing functions; increase penalties for violent crimes to deter future acts; remove the possibility of parole for those found guilty of multiple rape and murder charges; and make it easier for law-abiding citizens to legally obtain firearms while enforcing stricter sanctions for the possession of illegal firearms.

“ActionSA will ensure that anti-gangsterism programmes are implemented in prisons and communities with high levels of crime to combat the normalisation of violence among these population groups. Programmes will be selected and implemented based on their contextual relevance, proven efficacy, and associated costs. One such programme is the Cure Violence approach which has proven to significantly reduce incidences of murder and assault in South Africa and across the globe.”

Regarding penal justice reform, ActionSA believes offenders who do not serve life sentences need to be successfully re-integrated into society so that they do not continue committing crimes when they are released from prison. ActionSA will introduce prisoner work programmes that focus on public works. This will increase the likelihood of offenders successfully re-integrating into their communities by providing them with work experience and the opportunity to repay their debt to society.

Other crime and justice-related interventions include empowering the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA); expanding support for the State Attorney’s Office; and expanding court capacity.