Mapisa-Nqakula: Beitbridge border fence is useless

Defence force officials have told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that the fence was the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the controversial Beitbridge border fence was useless.

Defence force officials have told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) the fence was the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

Mapisa-Nqakula and her Public Works counterpart Patricia de Lille on Tuesday appeared before Scopa to again account for the fence which has been described as a sham.

Both the ministers have appeared before Scopa to account for the failed R40 million project.

The defence force, as the end user of the fence when protecting the border, has been questioned about its effectiveness.

Mapisa-Nqakula told MPs that people continued to illegally cross the border into South Africa and some had even damaged the fence.

“The whole thing of the fence has not worked and probably will not work. It doesn’t matter the quality of the fence we put up.”

She also told MPs they would be working on new technology to protect the border, including the use of drones.

“My understanding is that one of the decisions, chairperson, we have taken is to begin to use drones and to rely more on technology and also rely on sensors.”

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