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Parliament Gives Green Light to Border Management Authority Bill

March 5, 2020

Parliament

The Border Management Authority Bill has been passed by parliament and sent to the president for assent.

The bill was passed by the national council of provinces (NCOP) and returned to the national assembly (NA) for consideration of proposed amendments in December 2019.

The NA passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in June 2017.

The bill was tabled in parliament at the end of May 2016.

It lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament but was revived by the NCOP in October 2019.

The bill seeks to put a Border Management Authority (BMA) in place. It also provides for the function and structure of the envisaged authority.

The proposed 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 bill 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.

The bill aims to:


• provide for the establishment, organisation, regulation, functions and control of the Border Management Authority;
• provide for the appointment, terms of office, conditions of service and functions of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners;
• provide for the appointment and terms and conditions of employment of officials;
• provide for the duties, functions and powers of officers;
• provide for the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee, Border Technical Committee and advisory committees;
• provide for delegations;
• provide for the review or appeal of decisions of officers;
• provide for certain offences and penalties;
• provide for annual reporting; to provide for the Minister to make regulations with regard to certain matters; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Proposed amendments drawn up by the select committee on security and justice included the insertion of a new definition on “customs related functions” meaning the “functions performed exclusively by the South African Revenue Service under—(a) customs and excise legislation; and (b) any tax Act, as defined in the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No. 28 of 2011)”.

A new clause 27 on implementation protocols was also proposed focused on the coordination of functions by relevant state organs on border law enforcement.

The portfolio committee on home affairs adopted the proposed amendments.

During an earlier briefing on the bill, the home affairs department confirmed that the draft Section 97 Presidential Proclamation that will transfer border law enforcement functions from affected ministers to the minister of home affairs is being finalised.