Despite unrelenting terrain, the beating sun and vast tracks of land to patrol, South African Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers on the borders have still managed to apprehend more than 6 000 people – allegedly for trying to illegally enter South Africa from Mozambique since January.
News24 visited the Macadamia military base in Mpumalanga near the Lebombo border.
There, base commander Major Marvin Manganye spoke about their mission to maintain South African sovereignty.
“Due to economic decline and political unrest in the neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa, the province has seen an increase of illegal foreigners settling in the area or moving through the area into the interior of South Africa,” said Manganye.
He added that soldiers also dealt with foreigners who smuggled contraband cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and vehicles across the borders.