Addressing the committee, acting director-general Imtiaz Fazel said the fence would be repaired following complaints by MPs who had visited the project last year.
“What the department has done is to commission a technical report and that has been finalised. The team recommend that the fence can be repaired under certain conditions and these repairs will consist of replacing the structural supports that were removed, where the fence has not collapsed,” said Fezel.
But the proposed repairs did not sit well with MPs, who called the proposal wasteful expenditure.
ANC MP Bheki Hadebe was among the most critical of the fence, saying it was not fit for purpose and would only be suitable for domestic use to separate quarrelling neighbours.
“Let me remind the colleagues that we went there, we have physically tested the strength and the quality of that fence. We have seen without our naked eyes that fence is easily breakable. It is easy to breach that fence - effortlessly. It does not qualify to be called a border fence,” said Hadebe.
He said the committee was vehemently opposed to budgeting for the repair of the fence.
EFF MP Veronica Mente also slammed the plans for repairs to the fence. “The fence we saw there was actually a residential fence and not a fence meant for a border ... If they are going to repair, are they repairing the same fence that can be easily breached?” said Mente.