Question NW1539 to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

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30 July 2020 - NW1539

Profile picture: Graham, Ms SJ

Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1) Whether the solution employed in 2015 by soldiers of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) protecting the border between Mozambique and South Africa in the Ndumo area of placing boulders at various breach points in the fence for about 30 kms, which served to reduce the number of vehicles being illegally transported across the border, is still being employed in the area; if not, (a) on what date did the SANDF stop using the rocks and (b) why did they stop; if so, (i) what amount of maintenance is required and (ii) what was the impact of this solution in terms of the reduction of numbers of illegal border breaches; (2) whether she has found that this (a) can be a solution to fence security in areas of vehicular breaches on our borders and (b) will be a viable addition to the materials mix for border fencing; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what other alternative mechanisms and materials is her department considering for augmenting the border fences?


The solution employed in 2015 is still in use as one of the tactical measures to assist in border safeguarding especially in prevention of illegal cross-border movement and vehicle theft.

(1)(a) The SANDF has not stopped using the concept.

(1)(b) The effort has not been stopped.

(1)(i) No maintenance required as it is a temporary measure.

(1)(ii) The effort has, and is still making a very good impactin reducing the number of stolen vehicles illegally crossing the borderline.

(2)(a) It is not a solution but a military tactic of war, where soldiers create or put obstacles to stop movement or limit the speed of movement where required. The idea or concept can be adopted accordingly to address the porousness of our borders.

(2)(b) Yes, the concept can be a solution to fence security in areas of vehicular breaches on our borders. Evidence to this is that the KZN Provincial government adopted this operational concept and established a project to construct Modified Jersey Barriers to be installed on the borderline to replace the boulders and railway sleepers that the soldiers had put up. The Modified Jersey Barriers are 1.5 meters high and are much more stable and a long term infrastructure to prevent vehicular or wheeled movement across the borderline.

(3) The DOD has identified the use of security technology as one of the solutions that will make a huge and significant improvement in enhancing the borderline security and as such contribute to maintaining the territorial integrity of the RSA.

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