Cele reaffirms plans to tighten border controls amid simmering tensions between locals, migrants

Cele reaffirms plans to tighten border controls amid simmering tensions between locals, migrants

Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed to work closely with other government departments to tighten border controls amid rising concerns about the country's porous borders.

Police Minister Bheki Cele at the Pimville Community Centre

An apparent uptick in anti-immigrant sentiments in some areas of Gauteng over the past few weeks have led to violent clashes between South Africans and foreign nationals in areas like Alexandra and Soweto.

The clashes come on the back of an increase in the visibility of Operation Dudula members and an ongoing campaign to remove foreign business owners and replace them with South Africans.

At least two people have died in Gauteng as tensions continue to intensify between locals and migrants.

This includes the lynching of Elvis Nyathi in Diepsloot and the shooting of Kgomotso Diale in Pimville.

On Thursday, Cele held an imbizo at the Pimville Community Hall where he assured residents of government's interventions.

"In the previous two financial years, we spend R88 million deporting undocumented migrants," he told residents.

"We are working hard on Border Management Authority so that there are reinforcements at the borders because they are too weak."

The Beitbridge border post in Limpopo remains a sore point for law enforcement, with dozens of reports of goods and foreign nations smuggled into the country.

"We need to work together. We don't need to be friends, but we do not to work together so that the lives of people are better.

"That is a commitment that we shall work together for the betterment of the lives of the people of this place," Cele added before wrapping up the imbizo.

Last year, the Department of Public Works announced plans to issue out tenders as part of its long-term solution to secure the country's borders.


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