Signing of BMA Bill into law a necessary step in securing our borders
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Adv Bongani Bongo, welcomes the signing into law of the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill by the President of the Republic.
The BMA Act is intended to establish a Border Management Authority, which will remedy the fragmented border management model currently being utilised. The fragmented model has resulted in a variety of challenges in controlling South Africa’s borders. The bill seeks to establish a single implementing entity under a single executive authority.
Furthermore, the committee has always been of the view that a seamless border environment bodes well for the movement of people into and out of the country; will ensure efficiencies, especially for tourism into the country, which is necessary for job creation; and will be indispensable in facilitating the Africa Free Trade Agreement as it takes root on the continent.
“While we are aware that the legislation-making process has taken longer than initially intended, we are happy that the delay has strengthened the law to make the agency effective,” Adv Bongo said.
The committee’s main preoccupation is ensuring that South Africa’s borders are secured and that all stakeholders at ports of entry operate in a coordinated and seamless manner. The committee is also hopeful that the new border agency will move with speed to ensure that South Africa’s borders are secure.
The committee has highlighted the importance of an implementation plan with targeted milestones for the Act. The committee has also urged the Department of Home Affairs and the National Treasury deliver on their commitment to conclude an implementing protocol within six months of signing of the Act to enable the seamless functioning and co-ordination of border management areas.
The committee will exercise its oversight obligations by heightening it engagements with the department on the implementation of the Act.
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