Democratic Alliance shadow deputy transport minister Manny de Freitas says up to 85% of South Africa’s borders are unprotected.
He cited figures provided by the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) to the Portfolio Committee on Transport yesterday as supporting his contention that the major part of the nation’s borders “are open and unprotected from transnational crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling and other illegal trade operations.”
The CBRTA told MPs only eight of fifty-two of South Africa`s border points are manned on a full-time basis.
Twenty-six are manned part-time and thirty are not manned at all.
While De Freitas was speaking only about land border posts, his defence colleagues David Maynier and James Lorimer in July noted there was on average just one policeman to guard every 7km of the 4862 kilometres of landward border between border posts.
De Freitas added the CBRTA’s admission followed on the back of National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele`s admission yesterday that the South African Navy and the South African Police Service (SAPS) did not have the capacity to patrol SA’s 3000km coastline, which is also a borderline.
The MP says he will be asking Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele to report on progress being made with the establishment of the Border Management Agency (BMA) announced by President Jacob Zuma in his inaugural State of the Nation Address in June.