The Home Affairs Department will soon be finalising the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill which will deal with security breaches at neighbouring border posts.
Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria yesterday, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said part of the reason to expedite the BMA was a video doing the rounds of a security breach along the borderline of Mozambique.
He said the department had identified that taxis coming from Mozambique were involved in the breach and that action would be taken. Such taxis are operating on the basis of permits.
“The reason we want to expedite the establishment of the BMA is because we concede that due to the porousness of our borders, law enforcement agencies of the country are not able to be present everywhere where criminal acts like this are taking place,” said Motsoaledi.
According to provisions in the Cross Border Road Transport Act, administered by the transport department’s Cross Border Road Transport Agency, the permits may be withdrawn.
“Together with the minister of transport, we have agreed that the agency needs to pursue the matter with a view to withdrawing the permits so that they are no longer able to operate across the border into South Africa. A joint law enforcement operation will be mounted in that regard.”
The National Council of Province is scheduled to consider the BMA Bill tomorrow to bring to final deliberations before being referred back to the National Assembly for submission before it becomes law Meanwhile, the BMA project management team has been finalising the technical work required to establish the authority.
“I have directed the BMA project management office to focus their initial efforts in strengthening the borderline between Limpopo and Zimbabwe, Mpumalanga and Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal with Mozambique,” said Motsoaledi.
“We want to assure South Africans that we take this matter seriously. We have contacted the SA National Defence Force and the ministry of transport.”
The department will increase capacity at ports from December 4 to January 13, 2020 to ensure smooth movement for travellers over the festive season. About 400 additional officials will be placed at selected ports.