Ariamsvlei border porous, farmer claims

A farmer in the Ariamsvlei area says he regularly sees evidence of illegal border crossings on his land.

21 April 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGE

ARIAMSVLEI



A farmer on the border with South Africa at Ariamsvlei says the border zone is porous, leading to illegal movement between the two countries.

Namibia's Ariamsvlei border post is 17 kilometres from South Africa's Nakop border post.

While the stretch of land between two international borders is usually considered to be no man's land, that is not the case here; there are commercial farms between Nakop and Ariamsvlei.

“They are not maintaining order. I have caught many people in the past and usually see tracks. I have even informed the police,” said the farmer who identified himself only as Pieter.

“It is a growing problem and becoming a danger to my farm and it is as a consequence of the border not being at its rightful place.”

According to him, the fence separating Namibia and South Africa is supposed to be maintained by a South African company.

“That fence is very weak and the institution which is maintaining the fence is based in South Africa. I cannot even work on the fence,” Pieter said.

Ministry denies

The executive director in the ministry of home affairs, Etienne Maritz, confirmed that discussions had been held in the past about the condition of the Ariamsvlei border but denied that it was porous. According to him, the ministry had even received a request to renovate the facilities at the border.

“There was a farmer that offered assistance to improve the facilities. There are procedures to be followed but it is still our intention to continue discussions with him,” Maritz said.

“We need to investigate and a proper assessment will be done. It will need to be evaluated.”

Regarding illegal border crossings, Maritz said the police were on the ground monitoring the situation.

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