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South Africa launches new security force to seal off ‘porous' Beitbridge border

by Staff reporter
06 Oct 2023 at 21:07hrs | Views
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially launched a new border force to enhance border security and address issues related to undocumented foreign nationals. The launch took place in Musina, near the Beitbridge border post with Zimbabwe.

Ramaphosa emphasized that the increasing number of undocumented foreign nationals has exacerbated social and economic challenges in South Africa. Immigration is a prominent political issue in the country, and managing its borders has become disorganized.

Until now, border control was divided among four different government departments and subject to numerous legislative acts. The establishment of the Border Management Authority aims to streamline border policing under a single command and control structure.

This new agency will work alongside the defense force and be responsible for monitoring South Africa's various ports of entry, including seaports, land borders, and international airports.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who held talks with Ramaphosa to foster neighborly relations.

Ramaphosa stressed that the Border Management Authority is crucial for harnessing the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area, combating illegal migration, and addressing human trafficking concerns.

South Africa has faced border control challenges, including the collapse of a multi-million-dollar fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe, making it difficult to prevent illegal immigration. Corruption among law enforcement officers has also been a recurring issue.

The immigration debate in South Africa often leads to xenophobia, misinformation, and bouts of violence, as some unemployed South Africans believe that undocumented migrants from other African countries are taking their jobs. The exact number of illegal immigrants in South Africa remains a contentious issue.

Source - BBC News