South African border management set to enter another phase this year
South Africa’s border control at recognised ports of entry is set to be beefed up considerably when the Border Management Agency (BMA) comes into being, probably still this year. The newest addition to government’s growing list of agencies will assume full control of ports of entry and borderline functions and will also, once operational, take over operational responsibility for all ports of entry into South Africa. This includes land border posts such as Beit Bridge and Komatipoort, ports such as Cape Town and Durban and airports such as King Shaka International in Durban and OR Tambo International in Ekurhuleni. In January Cabinet’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster said the BMA should become a reality this year. It will be an agency of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) with input from, among others, the SA National Defence Force, SA Revenue Service in the form of customs and excise, the Department of State Security and the SA Police Service. Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said this week 34 organisations and individuals had submitted comment on the proposed BMA bill before it was taken to Cabinet.