Friday, 7 December 2018 Chantel King MP, the DA Eastern Cape Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Secure Borders and Annette Steyn MP, DA EC Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Land and Agriculture, did an oversight inspection to the Lesotho border post in Sterkspruit. They found only two Department of Home Affairs officials on duty and no fencing in place and that they could easily walk across the river into Lesotho and back
South African Police Service (SAPS) officers work 12 hours shifts at the post. Although more than 10 officers are needed to effectively work at the border, only four officers are made available.
"The border covers an area of more than 300 km, but there is no fencing in place. Official told us that the Orange River serves as the “fence”. The river is however low and very easy to cross.
"We tested this by easily walking across the river into Lesotho and back" said King.
According to King "the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is very stretched and must patrol a vast area. Soldiers told us that syndicates watch their movements to make sure they cross where the army is not. Then they just drive through the river into South Africa.
These citizens of Lesotho take up residents in Sterkspruit and get their hands on fake ID’s. This entitles them to grants, meant for the poor and suffering in South Africa.
The police is to understaffed to be able to link these border crossers with crimes and simply send them back across the border when they are caught".
The DA has a plan to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration
We believe that it is important to:
- Assist, support and care for legitimate refugees and asylum seekers;
- Attract foreign nationals with scarce skills to South Africa to help us grow our economy and create jobs.
And the DA will secure our borders and stop illegal immigration by:
- Arresting, detaining and deporting those who repeatedly enter our country illegally;
- Ensure undocumented immigrants are regularised or assisted in leaving the country if they do not meet the criteria for remaining in the country;
- Strengthening our border posts. Through proper control and order, we can create corruption-free and effective border security and control;
- Eradicating the corruption and inefficiency endemic to Home Affairs.
The Democratic Alliance is bringing change that builds One South Africa for All.