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In light of the debate surrounding South Africa’s borders across various platforms, Dr Mike Masiapato, the commissioner of the Border Management Authority (BMA), has presented figures documenting the recent measures taken by the authority.
From January 1 to 7, 480 people who were trying to enter the country illegally were intercepted at Beit Bridge.
“As the Border Management Authority, the implementation of the returning leg of the execution of our festive plan is going according to the manner in which we have planned. We continue to administer to people coming back into South Africa,” Masiapato said in a video on X.
“In terms of the Beit Bridge border post, as we started on January 1, 2024, we started with around 10 000 individuals that we were processing into South Africa, and that number kept on escalating towards the end of the week. We were sitting with around 20 000 individuals that we have facilitated.
“In the past 24 hours, we have been able to process around 25 000 individuals into South Africa. All in all, the number of people that we facilitated from January 1, 2024, to January 7 is sitting at 119 000 but … above the number of people we facilitated, we have been able to intercept around 480 individuals attempting to enter the country illegally.
“These are the individuals who had been intercepted for entering the port of entry without the requisite documentation, but some of those we intercepted along the borderline, where the border guards are deployed together with the members of the South African National Defence Force. In addition to this, we can indicate that all our processes are going according to plan.”
In another case that has sparked controversy, a few days ago, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) monitored illegal movements between South Africa and Zimbabwe through the Malala Drift, River in Limpopo.
It was reported that every morning, hundreds of Zimbabwean nationals passed through the river to work on farms in South Africa.
The PA’s Gayton McKenzie said: “We would be incredibly naive to think our actions at the border would stop all illegal crossings. Our intention was to put a spotlight on the crisis facing us all and to highlight the dangers. We have no border. The problem is much bigger than we can show.”
Defence Minister Thandi Modise slammed the party’s border patrol, saying it was the work of the SANDF, police and BMA.
In recent news, McKenzie said the PA wanted an audit of all permits, staying documents, job visas and asylum seekers, starting in 1994 and ending in 2024.
“Don’t come to South Africa illegally; go back if you are here illegally. This year and every year thereafter will not be a good year for illegal foreigners. Playtime is over; we want our country back; you hosted some of our leaders during apartheid; we hosted you; go back now,” said McKenzie on X.