Border Management Authority’s efforts bearing fruit, says BMA commissioner

Border Management Authority’s efforts bearing fruit, says BMA commissioner. Picture: File

Border Management Authority’s efforts bearing fruit, says BMA commissioner. Picture: File

Published Jan 29, 2024


The Border Management Authority (BMA) is making progress in managing the country’s ports of entry, commissioner Dr Mike Masiapato said this week.

The BMA had earlier reported that it had facilitated the legitimate movement of about 5 096 288 travellers across 71 ports of entry between December 6, 2023 and January 18, 2024.

Masiapato said the BMA’s implementation plan, which had lasted for 43 days from December 2023 to January 2024, saw more than 15 924 undocumented individuals, 6 455 undesirables and 4 626 inadmissible persons.

Zimbabwean people flee across border at Beitbridge Border Post in Musina, South Africa, Friday March 28, 2008. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

He said that had resulted in 27 005 individuals being deported while attempting to enter South Africa illegally.

Masiapato said that on the other hand, the country’s ports of entry had seen more than five million travellers coming through the SA’s ports of entry over the festive season, adding that from April 2023, the BMA had taken responsibility for the management of all land, sea and air border activities.

All the efforts, he said, were a sign that the BMA was ready to deal with those who illegally entered the country without the required documents.

Masiapato’s address on Sunday come just after reports indicate that the a 44-year-old South African taxi driver was arrested with 23 illegal Ethiopian immigrants in Limpopo, while another foreign national was arrested while driving a stolen Toyota Fortuner after trying to bribe the police with R 5 000.

“We must deal with individuals who attempt to illegitimately move through our ports of entry and other areas. As such, this festive season, we were able to detect about 15 924 individuals who were attempting to enter South Africa without requisite documentation through our ports of entries and vulnerable segments across the borderline.

“In this instance, after intercepting them, we fingerprinted them, we declared them undesirable and we then banned them from re-entering South Africa for a period of five years,” he said.

When it comes to arrests, Masiapato said that during this festive season, the BMA had arrested at least 240 criminals at the country’s 72 ports of entry. Those, he said, had included four boats used to smuggle undocumented migrants, as well as other illicit goods, such as crystal meth, had also been seized during the period.

He said that was proof that BMA was serious about managing the country’s borders.

“We would like to commend the majority of the travellers who heeded our call to avoid bringing in alien invasive species, as well as foreign pests associated with plants, animal products and other regulated goods into South Africa.”

The Star

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