“We need to secure our borders and fix our fences. We must make it almost impossible for people to enter the country illegally,” Maimane said.
Maimane was speaking at the Ramatlabama border post on Wednesday, which links South Africa and Botswana.
Drug-related crimes have increased at the border post over the past 10 years, he said.
He added that there were 84 police stations in the North West province, and almost all of them have reported a dramatic increase in drug-related crime over the past decade.
Two years ago, a truck was searched at the Kopfontein border post near Zeerust after sniffer dogs reacted.
Customs officials confiscated drugs to the value of almost R80 million.
At the time, the SA Revenue Service (SARS) said two foreign nationals were arrested for drug smuggling.
Referring to the incident, Maimane said: “A big part of the problem is that our borders are so easy to cross illegally.”
He said, by having more secure border posts, it would also root out corruption, adding that harsher sentences should be handed down to those who are found guilty.
“We must make a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration. We must make the process for those who wish to enter legally clear and simple, and we must go out of our way to attract skilled workers.”