Limpopo without borders: AfriForum demands answers

The civil rights organisation AfriForum submitted an application last week in terms of Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) to the Department of Home Affairs about the dilapidated condition of the border fences between Limpopo and Zimbabwe.

A letter was also directed to prof. Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, Minister of Home Affairs, in a bid to arrange an urgent meeting between the two parties and find a solution to these problems.

This follows after AfriForum’s border fence audit revealed that there are almost no fences between Limpopo and Zimbabwe. According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s Provincial Coordinator for Limpopo, the small part of the fence that still exists is full of holes through which anybody could climb.

“The border fence is in a very poor condition; in many places there is no fence to talk off. Humans, animals and vehicles can freely move across the border as there is no control whatsoever,” Grobbelaar says.

AfriForum requests in its PAIA application document pertaining to the budgeting for border fencing and the maintenance thereof, as well as future action plans for improvement.

“Activities such as corruption, smuggling, animal diseases, poaching and human trafficking are some of the greatest crimes committed across the border, and South Africans and Zimbabweans alike suffer. It can all be ascribed to the poor condition and maintenance of border fences, as well as corruption by army officers,” Grobbelaar adds.

“AfriForum views it as a very serious problem and requests the Minister to address the problem with the necessary urgency,” says Grobbelaar.

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