The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday said the immigration office at the Beitbridge border post had only two working computers, partly explaining the long wait endured by those travelling to South Africa’s northern neighbour.
DA home affairs spokesman Haniff Hoosen visited the border post and found staff struggling to do their work because of a lack of resources and outdated technology.
“For example, there are supposed to be 16 computers available and functioning to process people entering or leaving the border. However, only two computers are currently working. The fact that there are only two computers available to process the high number of people who cross the border every day confirms that Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is completely out of touch.
“Minister Gigaba’s ‘war on queues’ is clearly a farce.”
Hoosen said that, during their visit, DA officials heard complaints from people at the border who said they were told they had to pay bribes of the order of R200 if they wanted to skip the queue.
He added that residents of Musina in Limpopo province complained that Zimbabweans were able to simply walk across the border undetected.
“This is an indictment on both the DHA (the department of home affairs) and the ANC government whose inefficiencies in allocating adequate resources to our secure the borders.
“The officials at Beitbridge cannot win this fight alone, despite their genuine dedication to their work. They need the support of the DHA and border control management to effectively control the flow of people at the border post and to and secure the border from illegal immigration.”
The department of home affairs deployed an extra 37 officials to the border post ahead of Zimbabwe’s national elections last week but travellers complained of waiting up to six hours to cross.
Department of home affairs spokesman Thabo Mokgola declined to comment.
“We are not going to respond to the DA’s populist crusade,” he told ANA.
– African News Agency (ANA)