Department of Home Affairs
The Border Management Authority will be operational at 11 Ports of Entry as well as five out of 10 segments of the borderline by the end of the current financial year.
The home affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced this in the home affairs department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.
President Ramaphosa assented to the Border Management Authority Act last year.
The act seeks to put a Border Management Authority (BMA) in place. It also provides for the function and structure of the envisaged authority.
The legislation will also allow for the transfer, assignment and designation of law enforcement functions on the country’s borders and at points of entry to the BMA.
The BMA would be empowered to manage the movement of people across the borders, co-ordinate activities with other relevant state bodies and put an enabling environment in place to boost legitimate trade.
The act also calls for the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee, Border Technical Committee and advisory committees and provides for the review or appeal of decisions of officers.
Sections 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the act that deal with the commissioner and deputy commissioners came into effect on 1 January 2021.
The minister pointed out that the acting commissioner has been appointed and work is underway with the presidency on a Presidential Minute to appoint a permanent commissioner together with two deputies.
The minister added that the department is also “finalizing a Presidential Proclamation in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of the Republic that will start the process of transferring relevant border law enforcement functions and staff to the Border Management Authority”.
Other developments highlighted include:
• One-stop border post – a public-private partnership registered as part of the of the Presidential Infrastructure Project – all the contractual and financial arrangements to be finalised in 2021;
• Biometric Movement Control System piloted at at OR Tambo International Airport – department working with transport department and Airports Company of South Africa to implement immigration e-Gates at three major international airports – e-Gates project is aimed at improving passenger processing times and experience whilst maintaining the security and integrity of the borders;
• 10 more countries identified for e-Visa roll-out including Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Philippines and Pakistan; and
• Comment on Green Paper on Marriages in South Africa invited until 30 June 2021 – designed to establish a policy foundation for regulating the marriages of all persons in South Africa.