The aim of the new law is to solve the current challenges faced by officials when managing who comes in and out of South Africa.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs has welcomed the signing into law of the border management bill, saying they were happy that this has finally come into being.
The law was signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and came into force on 21 July 2020.
It is called ‘Border Management Authority Bill’ and will establish the Border Management Agency or Authority, as a way of replacing the current challenge of different agencies all playing different roles in managing aspects of border control.
“The legislation therefore contributes to the security of the country,” Ramaphosa said.
“And [also contributes to] the integrity and ease of trade and the general movement of persons and goods in and out of the country,” he said.
Parliament said they welcomed the signing of the bill and its creation of a single control agency…
Portfolio committee on home affairs Bongani Bongo said that 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”.
This will ensure efficiency, especially for tourism into the country, which is necessary for job creation – also ensure securing and will also 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,” Bongo said.
He said the committee’s main preoccupation is ensuring that South Africa’s borders are secure 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 also urged home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi and finance minister Tito Mboweni to conclude an implementing protocol within a space of 6 months of the law being signed “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,” the committee said.
(edited by ZK)
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