State Security Minister on economic and social security

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State Security Minister David Mahlobo said his department will focus on tackling rapidly growing non-traditional security threats to ensure the country’s economic and social security is safeguarded.

The Minister said this as security forces recently had to deal with attacks on foreign nationals and prevented a teenager from being recruited by the extremist terrorist group ISIS, among other threats.

He was speaking ahead of his department’s budget vote in Parliament earlier this week SAnews reported.
“During the course of our work, we have taken note of rapidly growing non-traditional security threats which involve the struggle for resources embedded in the pursuit of energy, security, environmental degradation, forced immigration, international terrorism and insurgency.
“Included in these are other threats including drug trafficking, proliferation of arms and ammunition, money laundering, financial crime and illicit crime,” he is reported by the government news agency as having said.

Over the past few months, Africa has been faced with terrorist threats, including the recent killing of innocent students with scores injured at Garissa University College in Kenya, the beheading of 21 Egyptians by ISIS and attacks on mosques, which have become a challenge for all nations.

Within South Africa’s borders, the luring of a 15-year-old girl into ISIS, who was eventually prevented from flying out of the country, is further testimony of the reality of international terrorism Mahlobo said.
“Our quick intervention in this regard, working closely with law enforcement agencies, ensured we can prevent this from happening.
“As we have indicated, there is a global trend of online recruitment which targets mainly young people active on social media platforms,” he said.

The Minister called on the public to be vigilant and exercise caution when dealing with cyberspace.

He said parents should supervise their children’s on-line activities without invading their privacy.
“We will engage the social cluster of government departments about public campaigns aimed at informing our people about the risks associated with cyberspace.
“As people we must recognise cybersecurity systems’ success depends on understanding the safety of the whole system, not merely protecting individual parts.
“Consequently cybercrime and cyber-terrorism must be fought on the personal, social, and political fronts as well as the electronic front,” he said.
“As part of our plans, we will be working with universities and other research institutes to build the cybersecurity pipeline through competitive scholarship, fellowship and internship programmes to attract top talent and develop systems that have command and control in our hands,” he said.