SA border control currently over stretched: Mapisa-Nqakula
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the South African National Defence Force's (SANDF) border control is currently over-stretched due to budget constraints. There are currently 15 military units on the ground protecting the country's borders rather than the preferred 22. At least 18 government vehicles have been hijacked over the past year in northern KwaZulu-Natal alone which are believed to have been driven across the border and sold in neighbouring countries. Speaking in Pongolo in the north of the province,Mapisa-Nqakula says poaching and drug trafficking also remain a major concern. “It is only this year that we decided to up it with two more companies and we now have 15 companies. Ideally we should actually be having all 22 companies on the ground. But because of financial resources ... we had budget cuts we have had to stick a smaller number." "To what extent does that help us? It doesn’t really help us much. Yes, they are trying to do their best with the little that they have but we wish we could have more boots on the ground,” adds Mapisa-Nqakula.