Thursday, 28 April 2022 19:12

Cele vows to work closely with other departments to tighten border controls.

Staff Reporter.

While communities' rights to protect themselves from criminality is enshrined in the Constitution, this must be done within a legal framework.

This was on Thursday reiterated by Police Minister General Bheki Cele during a Ministerial Street Imbizo in Pimville, in Soweto.

The Minister had returned to the Kliptown policing area to further engage community members on identified crimes and policing concerns. He was accompanied by the national and provincial management of the South African Police Service, City of Johannesburg council leadership and Gauteng Community Safety and Liaison MEC Faith Mazibuko.

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.

The Minister implored police officers to decisively act against law breakers and 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.