Parliament, Wednesday, 6 January 2021– The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Adv Bongani Bongo, has called for an urgent increase of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) members at landward borders with the aim of sealing the porous nature of our borders especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chairperson appreciated the increased presence of the SANDF in December following calls by the committee for urgent intervention. Besides this, the South African government must engage their Southern African Development Community partners to find solutions to the current challenge of movement of people across our borders.
Adv Bongo highlighted his concern with the current situation at both the Beit Bridge and Lebombo border gates, a situation that is both alarming and poses a serious threat of becoming Covid-19 supper spreader events.
“The movement of people in and out of South Africa especially through the Beit Bridge and Lebombo border posts was bound to be chaotic considering the numbers that use those ports of entry. It was incumbent upon the South Africa government and the governments of neighbouring countries to work out strategies and plans to deal with the influx of people in both directions, planning that was evidently not done,” Adv Bongo emphasised.
He highlighted his support of the health requirements for entry set by the South African government as they form basis in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
In the absence of workable solutions to the current challenges faced at the borders, Adv Bongo has called for the consideration of closure of ports of entry into South Africa until such solutions are found. “While we advocate for the ease of movement of people across borderlines, this has to happen within the law and set regulations. Lawlessness undermines the spirit and intentions of international cooperation,” Adv Bongo said.
Adv Bongo emphasised that the increased visibility of security officers at the borders will be a deterrent against illegal crossing into South Africa.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, ADV BONGANI BONGO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
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