SANDF attends border security symposium


A senior South African National Defence Force (SANDF) delegation was among 200 attendees at last week’s Border Security Week event in Cape Town.

The border control and management conference and exhibition ran from 6 to 7 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and was attended by an SA Navy delegation led by Chief Director Maritime Strategy Rear Admiral David Maningi Mkhonto and Rear Admiral (Junior Grade) Lisa Hendricks.

The event was aimed at enhancing border security in Africa, using smart border control technologies on land, air and the maritime environment. Delegates deliberated about the latest challenges and issues impacting border security in Africa, reports SA Navy News Editor Gert Witbooi.

Nicholas Makey from the newly established Border Management Authority updated delegates on the progress the agency has made in the integration of its digital security features.

Mkhonto gave a presentation on maritime security, saying the seascape is characterised by a constantly changing environment and the oceans themselves provide a vast, unmonitored area for those involved in transnational organised crime.

“Coastline borders present enormous border security challenges with dramatically varied terrain ranging from mountains and cliffs to beaches and swamps. Tens of thousands of kilometres of extended coastline with numerous lonely bays, inlets, estuaries and islands that can all be exploited by terrorists, illegal migrants, and other elements.”

He said the integration of ground operations, radar and sensor coverage is critical to enhancing border security. “As a result, major investment is still to be made in Maritime Domain Awareness, UAVs, long-range cameras, upgraded biometric sensors, motion detectors, ground sensors and advanced facial recognition programmes, all of which are intended to ensure that the country’s borders are better protected.”