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The National Security Dimensions of Borderline Control in South Africa Prof Mike Hough Department of Political Sciences University of Pretoria.

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Presentation on theme: "The National Security Dimensions of Borderline Control in South Africa Prof Mike Hough Department of Political Sciences University of Pretoria."— Presentation transcript:

1 The National Security Dimensions of Borderline Control in South Africa Prof Mike Hough Department of Political Sciences University of Pretoria

2 2 NATIONAL SECURITY CONCEPTS National Security State Security Regime Security Individual Security Regional Security Global Security

3 NATIONAL SECURITY “The condition of freedom from external physical threat which a nation-state enjoys”

4 DEFINITION: NATIONAL SECURITY National security is that part of government policy having as its objective the creation of national and international political conditions favourable to the protection or extension of vital national values against existing an potential adversaries

5 NATIONAL SECURITY AND HUMAN SECURITY Definitions of “human security” (although the concept has obvious merits), have been criticised for often being too vague and wide, and that virtually any type of threat or even discomfort, could constitute a threat to human security. It also does not help decision makers in deciding on the allocation of scarce resources among competing goals if no hierarchy of security objectives is established. “After all, not everything can be a matter of national security with all of the urgency that this term implies”.

6 NATIONAL SECURITY “In other words, debt burdens, rain-forest decimation, or even famine do not become part of the security calculus for our purpose unless they threaten to have political outcomes that either affect the survivability of state boundaries, state institutions, or governing élites or weaken the capacity of states and regimes to act effectively in the realm of both domestic and international politics.”

7 THIRD WORLD NATIONAL SECURITY Primarily domestic origins of insecurity: Often not single nation, but various competing groups. Lack of popular legitimacy of governments: often represent only élite or ethnic/social interests. Lack of institutional capacity to maintain law and order. Threats are perceived to be from and to the regime in power.

8 AFRICAN NATIONAL SECURITY "Currently, it is difficult to determine exactly how most African governments define their security, because most of them do not make their doctrines and calculations public. Instead, it is usually the head of state, the chief of security, army generals, and a small number of fellow officers who make their calculations and take whatever actions they consider necessary. This usually implies a rather narrow definition of security, based on considerations of military defence and regime stability. In addition, a few governments go even further. The readiness of some governments to hastily label any political opponents as 'terrorists', even when they are only advocating legal and non- violent action, suggests that some leaders confuse 'national security' with government survival, or even personal power.“ Source: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

9 MIGRATION AND INSECURITY “Like a number of other security challenges, migration-related insecurity increased significantly following the end of the cold war. And like so many of these challenges, the events of 9/11 have intensified awareness of and debate about migration. The migrant is more easily construed today than earlier as a potential national enemy, and the subsequent securitization of the migrant and migration in general has had enormous consequences for both individuals and states.” Source: Burgess, JP, “Non-military security challenges”, in Snyder, CA, Contemporary security and strategy.

10 MIGRATION AND INSECURITY (cont) “From the point of view of the arrival of societies of migrants, be they refugees or other, there is a distinct insecurity created. Host societies experience threats to social stability through problematization of endogenous cultures, itself answered by various forms of xenophobia. Demographic changes and with them economic changes can be perceived as threatening as a function of changes in family and group make-up. Cultural, religious and ethnic identity can be the source of conflict and security. …./cont

11 MIGRATION AND INSECURITY (Cont) These changes in populations carry with them changes in the ways that developed state-based societies care for citizens and those who have legal right to care. These changes motivate significant dynamics through the politics of border security, homeland, security, integration, citizenship and cultural pluralism, etcetera. The relationship between security, insecurity and migration is also linked, to a greater or lesser degrees, to human and narcotics trafficking, and associated international criminality. Source: Burgess, JP, “Non-military security challenges”, in Snyder, CA, Contemporary security and strategy.

12 CAUSES OF, AND ESTIMATION OF NUMBERS OF ILLEGAL MIGRANTS IN SOUTH AFRICA Causes: Overstayers Poor borderline control Corruption Marriages of convenience Falsification of documents Numbers: Estimates range from 500,000 to between 3 and 5 million, with some estimating between 2-3 million Zimbabweans alone, mostly illegally in South Africa. Refugee numbers are much smaller, but many of the refugee applications are fraudulent. (2008 – 110,000 applications for asylum – only 10,000 genuine).

13 DEPORTATION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA: 2008 TOTAL: 288, 836 Selected subtotals: Zimbabwe: 167,692 Mozambique: 96,826 Malawi: 5,259 Swaziland: 3,086 China: 394 Bangladesh: 146

14 SAPS ACTIVITIES AT SOUTH AFRICA BORDERLINES 2008/2009 Stolen / Hijacked vehicles Arrests95 Seizures530 ValueR53,000,000.00 Firearms and ammunitions Arrests156 Seizures265 firearms and 209 rounds of ammunition ValueFirearms: R265,000.00 Ammunition: R1,045.00 Narcotics Arrests348 Cannabis174,270,034 gram ValueR243,978,046.60

15 SAPS ACTIVITIES AT SOUTH AFRICA BORDERLINES 2008/2009 Illegal immigrants / Aiding and abetting Arrests50,153 Illegal goods Arrests80 ValueR45,398,372.00 Human trafficking and maritime-related offences Arrests87

16 SOUTH AFRICAN POLICIES AND VIEWS ON ILLEGAL MIGRATION AND BORDERLINE CONTROL Borderline Protection: July 2009 648 police officers for 4,862 km of landward borders = one per seven kilometres Operation Corona (Proposal) SANDF redeployed on borderline between 2010-2014 From 1 April 2010: 540 soldiers on Zimbabwe and Mozambique borders (3,240 soldiers less than in 2004. Aim is about 2,000 in 2014). Lesotho border “Security along South Africa’s border with Lesotho is ineffective and citizens are forced to look after the safety of their own communities.” - D Maynier (DA) – 20 July 2009

17 SOME IMPLICATONS OF (INEFFECTIVE) BORDERLINE CONTROL IN SOUTH AFRICA RSA White Paper on International Migration, 1991 “3.1It has been noted that illegal aliens have the following negative impact on the provision of services and on our society: they compete for scarce resources with millions of South Africans living in poverty and below the breadline; they compete for scarce public services, such as schools and medical care, infrastructures and land, housing and informal trading opportunities; they compete with residents and citizens for our insufficient job opportunities, and offer their labour at conditions below those prescribed by law or the applicable collective bargaining agreements; a considerable percentage of illegal aliens has been involved in criminal activities; and they weaken the state and its institutions by corrupting officials, fraudulently acquiring documents and undeserved rights and tarnishing our image locally and abroad.”

18 Incarceration statistics indicating categories of crime involving foreigners in South Africa: April 2009 SOME IMPLICATONS OF (INEFFECTIVE) BORDERLINE CONTROL IN SOUTH AFRICA (Cont) Crime categoriesUnsentencedSentencedTotal Economic crimes1 1211 7812 902 Aggressive crimes1 3561 6322 988 Sexual crimes206208414 Narcotics282507799 Other292507799 Total3 2574 6357 892

19 SOME IMPLICATONS OF (INEFFECTIVE) BORDERLINE CONTROL IN SOUTH AFRICA (Cont) “Zim soldiers behind wave of heists “An intelligence officer confirmed that former Zimbabwean military men were using their skills to good effect in South Africa – employing South Africans as runners to help them get accommodation, hideout spots and vehicles. “’A number of soldiers are leaving the Zimbabwean army and coming [here]. The group that was involved in last Sunday’s shooting involved people with serious military training,’ he said “Police suspect that the weapons recovered, which include AK-47s and other powerful guns, were supplied by Mozambicans, while the Zimbabweans oversaw the operation in cahoots with several locals. “’Unfortunately our hands are tied … Anything involving Zimbabwe or our [other] neighbours is handled via Pretoria,’ said an official. “Kenny Fihla, head of Business Against Crime, said the involvement of foreigners in crime was becoming a serious problem. “’We should not be apologetic. We do have a sense that illegal foreigners are involved in these armed heists and robberies,’ he said.” Source: Sunday Times, 2 July 2006

20 SOME IMPLICATONS OF (INEFFECTIVE) BORDERLINE CONTROL IN SOUTH AFRICA (Cont) Violence against foreigners in South Africa: selected examples 1994-1995 – Alexandra 2007 – Port Elizabeth and Delmas 2008 – Alexandra and beyond (spread over four provinces) 2010 – De Doorns, Balfour and Orange Farm Causes of violence against foreigners have been explained in terms of issues related to poverty and poor service delivery, employment opportunities, involvement in crime, instigation by a so-called “third force” and generally “xenophobia”.

21 WE ARE NOT ALONE – LOOK AT ANGOLA (AND BOTSWANA) “Angola: Armed Forces Chief Warns About Illegal Immigration Risks “The head of staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), General Francisco Pereira Furtado, has called on attention for the consequences of illegal immigration phenomena provokes for the country’s economy and national defence, Angop has learned. … “He underlined that illegal immigration constituted in the last times one of the greatest threats to economic and social stability, a situation caused by the vulnerability of national borders and weak mechanisms of supervision, which is a concern of the Angolan State. “The high-ranking army official said that since May 09, an operation code- named Crisis, under co-ordination of FAA, that in 37 days, expelled 18,000 illegal foreigners in the diamond rich Lunda-Norte Province. “Francisco Pereira Furtado said that the operation follows the world financial and economic crisis that affects the diamond sector and provoked the abandonment of 11 huge diamond projects in the country.” Source:, 24 June 2009

22 Thank You Questions?

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