Border Management Authority bolsters capacity ahead of Easter pilgrimage

Commissioner of the Border Management Authority, Dr Michael Masiapato. Picture: Supplied/BMA

Commissioner of the Border Management Authority, Dr Michael Masiapato. Picture: Supplied/BMA

Published Mar 25, 2024


As scores of South Africans get ready for the upcoming Easter pilgrimages this weekend, the Border Management Authority (BMA) has bolstered its efforts to secure the country’s borders through the addition of 400 junior border guards.

The border guards will assist members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Revenue Service (SARS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Cross Border Road Transport Agency, and various traffic authorities in guarding the countries 52 land ports of entry, 10 international airports and nine seaports.

Coming just days from the BMA’s one-year anniversary, Commissioner Dr Mike Masiapato unveiled the authorities’ four-phase Easter Operational Plan, which he saw stakeholders planning for the upcoming Easter weekend.

Through this, he said situational analysis was conducted at the port and regional levels for the purpose of determining the specific needs for each port of entry.

As a result of this, Masiapato said they identified a need for the extension of operating hours for those ports that do not operate on a 24-hour basis.

Taking into consideration the historical data of last year’s Easter period, which saw 913 859 people crossing through the country’s borders, the commissioner said this year they were anticipating 1 million people moving through our ports.

Masiapato added that with the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) opening its doors for the first time since Covid-19 for its Easter pilgrimage, they were expecting even more people to move through the ports.

“Upon realising the need for additional capacity we increased our human resource deployment for immigration, law enforcement duties as well as providing capacity for operational and tactical support across our ports of entry.

“We will deploy the 400 additional junior border guards who are currently at college. We’re deploying them for experiential learning on the port of entry. They have been trained across all of the various activities that take place at the ports and our targeted ports are the busiest ports of entry to assist with the delivery of services.”

The Star

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