Cape Town - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the newly-formed Border Management Authority (BMA) will not hinder any trade activities between South Africa and other African countries.
Motsoaledi made the statement when he was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Mgcini Tshwaku, who asked how the department, through its newly formed Border Management Agency, would ensure that there was free trade between South Africa and other African countries.
He also asked how the agency would not act as a restriction, and there would be no stampede of truck traffic and/or of persons going in and out of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and vice versa at the border gates, among others.
In his written response, Motsoaledi said the BMA was required by law to ensure the effective management of the movement of people, goods and services across the country’s ports of entry.
“The establishment of the Authority is intended to improve efficiencies in the facilitation of trade between South African and the rest of the African continent and the world.
“Further, the establishment of BMA seeks to ensure the integration of various functions (e.g. immigration, port health, agriculture, access control) which are currently implemented by individual government departments in a fragmented manner.
“Therefore, BMA’s establishment seeks to improve efficiencies in this regard by integrating all those functions into a single command and control,” he said.
Motsoaledi also said, in executing its functions, the BMA would remain guided by the overall policy directives adopted by the respective parent departments.
The BMA, he said, “will in no way work towards hindering any trade activities or market access between South Africa, African countries and the world”.
The minister also said whilst the leadership of Border Management Authority was busy putting systems in place to operationalise the BMA and the ultimate deployment of the border guards, the ports of entry were currently secured by the SAPS in order to deter and intercept any illegal activities in the port environment.