Statement delivered by Home Affairs Minister, Hon. Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, during the joint press conference to explain the request for proposals for the development of six busiest land ports of entry
My colleague, Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Hon Mr Njabulo Nzuza
Commissioner of the Border Management Authority, Dr Mike Masiapata and your team
Director General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mr Tommy Makhode and your team
Ms Gillian Wilson from National Treasury
Our transaction advisory team, led by
Mr Thabang Tladi from The Presidency’s Infrastructure SA
Mr Gene Ravele from SARS
Ms Tshiphiri Muedi from DBSA Infrastructure Fund
Mr Wandisile Mandlana from Bowman Gilfillan, our legal team
Mr Nell Grobbelaar from Ernst & Young, our auditors
Members of the media
Thank you very much for honouring us with your presence on this very important day, as we take another step towards the advancement of our border management. We are incrementally managing our borders as a country. As you know that in July 2022 we launched the Border Guards of the Border Management Authority.
We are here today to add another layer in the country's efforts to make our borders safer, less porous and more importantly, very efficient in facilitation and easing of trade as well as the legitimate movement of people.
When I delivered my speech at the Budget Vote, on 17 May this year, I announced my gratitude at the approval granted by Finance Minister, Mr. Enoch Godongwana for the Department of Home Affairs to issue the Request for Proposal to the market for the redesigning and redevelopment of our top six busiest Ports of Entry.
If there is one thing you need to take away from this briefing, it is that the South African government is committed to put the latest infrastructure and relevant technology in its effort to modernize and upgrade our ports to be on par with the current global best practices on border management.
To this end, the main objective is to make it easier for the law-abiding people and companies to easily enter and exit South Africa through our borders while the illicit movement of persons and goods is nipped in the bud – pun intended.
It has taken a while for us to get to this point. I would like to commend my team consisting of officials from the Border Management Authority, the Department of Home Affairs, The Presidency’s Infrastructure SA, National Treasury, SARS, DBSA’s Infrastructure Fund, and the transactional advisors, Bowmans and Ernst & Young, for their hard work in getting us to this point.
In fact, South Africa’s ports of entry were designed during the apartheid era with the primary objective of tightened security whilst neglecting the effective facilitation of regional and international trade. In fact, ladies and gentlemen, it is not an over exaggeration to state that when you visit our land ports of entry, between us and our SADC neighbours, the South African side of the border looks like informal settlements while the other side looks like Sandton.
Since the advent of democracy, there has been an exponential increase in the number of people moving between South Africa and the countries in the region. The volume of regional and international trade has similarly increased. As a result, our land ports of entry are very congested and that continues to stifle trade instead of enabling it. If you want to understand what we are talking about, just take a visit to the Lebombo Border Post between SA and Mozambique where you will see trucks lining up for kilometres, bumper to bumper, for hours on end, on the N4 Corridor.
This is because mining companies in the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga took a decision to use the Maputo Port for their exports, and no longer Richards Bay Harbour. Given the current narrow design of the Port, this has led to congestion. The announcement we are making today will make sure that what is happening there will become history.
We wish to remind you that SA has 72 Ports of Entry of which 53 are land, 11 are international airports and 8 are seaports all of which are now operated by the Border Management Authority.
Of the 53 land Ports of Entry, we have now earmarked six of our largest and busiest, by traffic volume, for re-development in order to address the congestion.
The outcome of the redevelopment of these Ports of Entry will be used as a blueprint in the long-term for all other South Africa’s land ports of entry. The primary intention is to ensure the realisation of regional economic integration in the SADC region, while facilitating the realisation of African Continental Free Trade Area.
The six earmarked ports of entry are:
- Beitbridge - Zimbabwe
- Lebombo - Mozambique
- Maseru Bridge – Lesotho
- Ficksburg - Lesotho
- Kopfontein - Botswana
- Oshoek - Eswatini
The re-developed ports of entry will result in:
- The efficient cross-border management of movement of people, goods and services.
- Better regional economic integration; and enhanced support for the African Continental Free Trade Area.
- Improved revenue collection and addressing leakages caused by the illegal movement of goods and illicit financial flows.
- Protecting local industry from harmful imports and exports.
- Effective migration management including curbing illegal migration.
The six POE project will cover the full infrastructure development of each designated Port of Entry and the provision of the required services to ensure a coherent and coordinated support of institutional functions of all Organs of State present at the Port of Entry. In order to ensure that the ongoing operations at each of the designated Ports of Entry are not interrupted, construction will be undertaken in phases. During construction, the project is expected to create in the order of 38 000 jobs in areas around the six designated ports of entry.
The project is being undertaken on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis. The procurement process is therefore subject to the procedures set out in Treasury Regulation 16 for initiating, procuring and concluding PPP projects.
Treasury Regulation 16 specifically requires that a PPP project must be demonstrably affordable, result in value-for money for government, and substantial technical, operation and financial risks are transferred to the Private Sector Contracting Party.
Four National Treasury approvals are prescribed by Treasury Regulation 16, two of which have so far been obtained by the project, allowing the Department of Home Affairs to publish the Request for Proposals.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the six Ports of Entry projects were issued on Sunday, 03 September 2023, inviting interested parties to participate. The RFP is on the e-tender portal and other government websites, including the Department’s website. The adverts were also placed in Sunday Newspapers on 03 September 2023.
Ladies and gentlemen.
This call for Request for Proposals is essentially looking for a partnership between the State and the private sector to inject cutting edge infrastructure and technology in our ports. On 05 December 2020, the country saw a truck arriving at the Lebombo Border Post full of brooms to the brim, purporting to be transporting them to Mozambique. When the brooms were removed, as part of the inspection process, a brand new Ford Ranger was discovered on the bed of the truck. On further investigation, it was uncovered that the car was stolen in Sandton on 30 November 2020. These types of incidents may keep on happening on a regular basis because our method of managing movement of trucks through our borders is via sampling whereby trucks are selected on the basis of a risk profile. This means that some trucks carrying illicit goods such as, cigarettes, liquor or trafficked people can escape undetected.
In our Request for Proposals we are expecting the prospective partner companies to come install latest technologies such as gamma rays scanners such that each truck can drive through them. Gamma Ray technology can pick up anything from illicit cigarettes, liquor, paper money and human beings.
Some ports in other jurisdictions are still using X-ray technology which we regard as outdated.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Officials will unpack the Request for Proposals to bidders on 27 September 2023, followed by site visits to the identified Ports of Entry.
For now, I wish to end by inviting our private sector partners for each of them to outline their role in this project.
Thank you very much.