Beefing-up security at the border has become so critical for the country’s security needs that the government should start investing the necessary resources to stem the tide of human trafficking.
In a new study titled Human Trafficking in South Africa, the author, Professor Philip Frankel, says the country has become a “paradise for human traffickers”.
This is mainly due to SA’s economic dominance in the region and its porous border that includes a 3 000km shoreline.
Frankel says one of the main attractions for traffickers is South Africa’s long and easily penetrable borders, which are not well guarded.
He says human trafficking has become so serious in the country that people are arriving in boats.
“Not to the extent of the situation in the Mediterranean to Europe, but people are coming in by boats along the south coast,” says Frankel.
If the latest research is anything to go by, it is clear that the influx of people trafficked into the country or entering the country illegally has reached alarming proportions.
The consequences of that are dire for our struggling economy, with its record unemployment figures. We therefore should not be surprised to see drug-related crimes, money laundering and human trafficking going through the roof.
To be frank, it can be argued that the state has no clue as to who is coming in and out of the country. Active policing of the country’s borders has to be prioritised in order to keep all the unsavoury characters at bay.
The army needs to play a leading role in this, together with the Department of Home Affairs and the SAPS.
It is time that we also adopted modern and technologically advanced approaches to policing the country’s long coastline as this unguarded territory has become the latest loophole being exploited by human traffickers, illegal fishing vessels that are stealing our fishing stock and drug smugglers.