Monday 15 April 2024


Border Management Authority SA commissioner Mike Masiapato on Sunday revealed that intercepted five children at the Beitbridge port of entry.

They handed them to colleagues from the department of social development who activated the social workers at Musina.

“They later engaged their Zimbabwean counterparts and processed the children back to Zimbabwe to be reconciled with their respective families. Another incident involving a child was at Grobler’s Bridge port of entry where a woman was attempting to exit South Africa to the Democratic Republic of Congo via Botswana.

“The supposed ‘mother’ did not have a passport but was carrying an emergency travel document (ETD) which was issued by the embassy of the DRC and the child was completely undocumented. They were both handed over to colleagues from the department of social development who processed and took them to a place of safety in Limpopo,” he said.

South Africa's borders were busier this year in comparison to last year.

The authority said they facilitated 1,136,250 travellers across 71 ports of entry in 10 days. In the same period last year, 913 859 travellers were processed — meaning there were over 222 000 more travellers this year.

Over a 10-day period during Easter nearly 4,000 people were intercepted attempting to enter the country illegally.

Addressing a media briefing, Masiapato said 2,403 of those intercepted did not have any documents at all. Another 1,019 individuals were refused entry for being undesirable and 419 were found inadmissible to enter the country due to various reasons.

“The majority of those arrested without documents were intercepted at the vulnerable segments of the borderline. They were processed, declared undesirable for five years, and were deported. Most of the inadmissible individuals were found with invalid passports, fraudulent visas or just failed to produce relevant documents such as valid yellow fever certificates, especially those travelling from yellow fever endemic countries,” Masiapato said.

“Incrementally, since the first deployment of the border guards, the authority has managed to intercept and stop more than 281,000 individuals who attempted to enter South Africa illegally.”

Security had been strengthened at the borders during this time, with Masiapato saying 400 junior border guards had been deployed at some land ports to “assist in the critical role of sanitising the border environment and ensuring the uninterrupted facilitation of the legitimate movement of people and goods across the ports”.

On a more positive note, the authority said during the Easter period, they observed a reduction in the number of undocumented and or unaccompanied minors arriving at South African ports of entry. Sowetan



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