Not good enough: Poor roads, lack of fencing and informal trading flagged at Beitbridge Port
Vast infrastructure requirements and poor roads, lack of fencing and the proximity of informal trading are some of the challenges faced at the Beitbridge Port of Entry.
This was found during the Select Committee on Security and Justice’s visit to the border port on Wednesday.
During the visit the committee found that the proximity of informal trading and the taxi rank was a big challenge.
According to the department of home affairs, they have received no assistance from the municipality in the area to have the taxi rank moved.
Committee chairperson Shahidabibi Shaikh said the roads at the port were in a poor condition, there was an almost “non-existent” border fence and the various departments faced human resources challenges.
The port services an average of 30,000 trucks, 40,000 light motor vehicles and 10,000 buses a month.
Officials from the Border Management Authority (BMA) called on the committee to request the department of public works to prioritise these challenges faced.
The South African National Defence Force faced a particularly difficult task in having to patrol an area which stretches up to 1,000km.
The army said its efforts were hampered by budget and human resources limitations, but the redeployment of soldiers from Namibia to the border was an option to look into.
Shaikh said the committee was of the view that illegal immigration was largely found to be those who entered through legal channels and ended up settling in SA despite overstaying their visas.
“The committee notes that there’s an attempt to co-ordinate government processes, but the manner of operation between the 10 departments operating at the border remains fragmented.”
She said an integrated approach was needed to ensure the efficiency of the management of the border.