Border Surveillance in South Africa
Border surveillance is essential but remains difficult when it comes to make sure each part of the borderline is secured and impassable. Border post control, even if located really regularly, cannot keep under surveillance each kilometre along the frontier.
The Beitbridge border post control access between South Africa and Zimbabwe is a good example of how difficult it might be. It became a very serious and fragile area to control illegal immigrants entering South Africa from Zimbabwe.
Thanks to very high-resolution imagery, such as Pléiades, it is possible to help to improve border surveillance efficiency. Indeed, 50cm resolution is the perfect zoom level to detect possible illegal border-crossing areas, new roads and tracks, changes, congregations of vehicles, temporary settlements …
Pléiades Satellite Image - Beitbridge border post control access between South Africa and Zimbabwe
On this study area, we have identified the tracks immigrants are following to cross the border. (green arrow). The large sand bar of the Umzingwane river facilitates the walk, as well as narrow Limpopo river section eases its crossing, and after having reached the other bank, the sparse vegetation simplifies the last meters to reach South Africa.
Here we have identified where the barbed wire fence is certainly weakened, and surely where people are finishing their journey before entering the country.
This South Africa example is only one among many other border surveillance projects managed by our images analysis experts.
Timeously information over specific borderline areas are mandatory to apply the necessary geo-intelligence to the satellite imagery collected. Thanks to the daily Pléiades imagery, and the sharp details that can be extracted and analysed from them, border surveillance will definitively be improved.