by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
Date: 01 November 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on the Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu, to speed up negotiations relating to the unresolved Orange River Boundary issue between South Africa and Namibia.
This comes after concerns have been raised that Namibia might not be honouring the international Northern border line and may end up mining diamonds off the west coast seabed in diamond rich waters of the Northern Cape province, while South Africa knowingly turns a blind eye.
If the recent concerns raised are valid, it means that our country and our province, will be losing out on millions of rands worth of revenue.
The matter dates back to a pre-1994 dispute in respect of South Africa’s northern border with the Republic of Namibia, which until today remains inconclusive. In a parliamentary reply, dated 14 September 2018, the Minister indicated that the two countries continue to engage with the view to resolve the matter. She stated that in April 2013, the two countries established a Joint committee of Experts which subsequently submitted its final report to the two government. It seems that little has been done since then.
At a time when unemployment and poverty is at an all time high, government’s laidback approach to the boundary issue could be costing jobs.
This is yet another example of how South Africa needs to tighten its border control, both on land and offshore.
The DA will write to Minister Sisulu, asking that government actively accelerate a resolution to the boundary dispute.
Offshore mineral resources could offer a lifeline to Namaqualand, whose economy is largely dependent on diamonds.
Only a DA led government will ensure that South Africa has well defined borders and border control systems that are able to accurately and efficiently record the movement of diamonds over our borders.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387