Collaboration and technology will boost border protection


One Parliamentary defence oversight committee – the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) – maintains better collaboration between all components of Cabinet’s “justice and crime prevention cluster is the antidote to cross-border criminal activity”.

The assertion follows the JSCD being briefed on efforts to “curb car smuggling across South Africa’s land borders”. The briefing, according to a Parliamentary Communication Services statement, included presentations by the Department of Defence (DoD) and specialist vehicle tracking companies Netstar and Tracker.

The “justice and crime prevention cluster” is presumably the justice, crime prevention and security cluster (JCPS). It includes the departments of Police, Home Affairs, Justice and Correctional Services and Defence and Military Veterans.

The JSCD “emphasised” the DoD, presumably in the form of the national defence force which is tasked with physically executing border protection as per Operation Corona, should employ “technological advances” to boost operational ability and efficiency. These will be force multipliers to aid the fight against cross-border illegality.

“The committee has for some time now called for integration of Technogym systems and processes into daily operations to increase efficiency,” the statement quotes committee co-chair Cyril Xaba as saying. A Google search brings to light “Technogym” is a manufacturer and supplier of fitness and gym equipment.

On vehicle smuggling Xaba is quoted as saying: “We are cognisant of the challenges our law enforcement agencies face on a daily basis when discharging their duty. The call for a collaborative effort is because we are stronger when acting in unison”. The collaborative effort, Xaba said, should include private sector security companies for co-ordination and planning.

The JSCD is “aware” of the “funding shortfall” that continues to impact the ability and capability of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) adding it sees innovation and partnerships “resolving the challenges of cross-border criminality”.