PRETORIA, The Department of Home Affairs says South Africa’s Cabinet is expected to approve the establishment of the Border Management Agency (BMA) early next year to improve the control of South Africa’s borders and restrict illegal activity.
The department, in partnership with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), held a media workshop on the 2017/18 festive season plans for South African borders here Thursday when it was revealed that plans are at an advanced stage for the establishment of the BMA, which will be led by the department, to curb illegal immigration.
This single authority for border law enforcement provides the potential for more cost-effective services as well as enhanced security and management of the border environment.
The establishment of a Border Management Authority will represent a radical shift from the colonial and apartheid systems that were informed by a desire and mission to create and sustain racism, hostilities and hatred among the people rather than dignified migration, the department said in a statement earlier this year.
Through the agency, the department will focus on building the right set of skills for border guard officials. It will also establish modern and secure infrastructure, and information communication technology (ICT) platforms which meet universal standards. The proposed agency will not only be beneficial to South Africa, but will also benefit other destination countries.
The Cabinet took a decision in June 2013 to establish a Border Management Authority to improve management of ports of entry and the borderline. It subsequently endorsed a vision for the BMA in 2014. The BMA Bill has been through an extensive consultation process.
More than 40 million people enter and leave the country on an annual basis for various reasons, including asylum, economic, educational and training opportunities, tourism and leisure, thus the need for an effective and efficient border management authority.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, the BMA will help prevent, among others, drug-related crimes, human trafficking, illegitimate movement of goods and unauthorised movement of persons. Illegal immigration has become a serious challenge for the country because of its vast borders such as land, air and maritime.
The BMA, as envisaged, will take over all border management functions at entry and exit points nationally.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK