Possible Trafficking Of 443 Zimbabwean Children Only the Tip of the Iceberg of South Africa’s Dysfunctional Borders

The 443 Zimbabwean children who were stopped at Beitbridge Border Post after it was found that they were allegedly being trafficked into South Africa is only the tip of the iceberg of the country’s dysfunctional border operations which the ruling party has allowed to decay.

Having visited the Beitbridge Border Post in Limpopo last week, I have seen first-hand how border operations in South Africa have nearly ceased to exist with kilometres of fencing at the country’s borders being torn down and people moving freely in between. This does not even include the countless incidents of corruption and abuse at border posts.

While we are grateful that these children have safely been returned home from the Border Post, I shudder to think of the possible hundreds of children who are illegally smuggled over where borders have been torn down and are not manned by security personnel. The South African government should take sole responsibility for allowing our borders to decay to this extent.

As a party which values the rule of law, ActionSA believes that introducing new legislation or agencies such as the Border Management Authority (BMA) will do little to address our porous borders unless corruption is ruled out and the political will exists to protect our borders. Our laws are implemented without fear or favour, but that is difficult when our laws are repeatedly undermined by politicians.

In line with the policies adopted during ActionSA’s inaugural policy conference in September, we advocate for extensive reforms within the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The objective is to streamline the visa and work permit acquisition processes for those seeking lawful entry into South Africa, concurrently addressing issues of corruption and the issuance of fraudulent documentation.

ActionSA believes that the government should enhance the capabilities of existing entities, provide training for personnel, and ensure strict enforcement of the law across all levels of government.

We simply cannot allow our communities to further fall subject to this rise in lawlessness. ActionSA commits to diligently uncovering the ongoing decay in South Africa’s border operations and presenting solutions on how we can fix these border posts to help put the country back on a path to prosperity.