The arrest this week of three people linked to human trafficking, following the rescue of 57 Malawian children and young adults who were packed in a truck like goods, lays bare the problems of human slavery and trafficking, which have reached crisis proportions all over the world.
The children, some as young as 11, and youth were, according to police, paid between R2 000 and R2 500 to be brought to South Africa with promises of further payment when they arrived here.
The arrests are indicative of how porous South Africa’s borders are, considering the windowless truck in which the children were being transported passed through our border gates.
This could also be attributed to the corruption of immigration officers and border police, who have in the past been accused of allowing immigrants without proper documentation to enter the country in exchange for bribes.
Government has been reluctant to deal with the crisis at our borders, something that has led to thousands of foreign nationals flocking to South Africa in search of greener pastures.
Experts agree this poses a security threat to the country, as witnessed during the xenophobic attacks.
South Africa is in urgent need of a clear strategy for managing its borders to defeat the ills associated with border control, especially human trafficking.