Police, Sars won't lose power under new border control unit

2016-09-14 10:51
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Cape Town - State institutions like Sars and SAPS will not lose their constitutional functions at the country's borders with the setting up of a new border control authority, Parliament’s home affairs portfolio committee has said.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba assured the committee on Tuesday that the proposed new border management authority bill would not usurp the powers of the SA Revenue Service and police to perform their duties at border posts.

Parliament is currently debating the bill, which seeks to set up one unified body to oversee South Africa’s border and ports.

"We welcome the assurance that there have been discussions between the departments and resolutions have been made to keep the functions and reporting lines open for Sars and SAPS,” committee chairperson Lemias Mashile said in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.

The committee had raised issues with draft versions of the bill over how the new entity would affect state departments.

Public hearings into the first draft of the bill were held in August.

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni said at the time that five organs of state were involved in managing the country's borders and that their efforts were not co-ordinated. This resulted in a large influx of undocumented foreigners and contraband goods.

Apleni said South Africa received among the highest number of asylum seekers in Africa and the country's border management was vulnerable.

Over 39 million people moved through South Africa's borders annually. The country's borders stretch for 4 471km, including the landlocked border with Lesotho. There are 72 ports of entry.

- Read more: SA's border management unco-ordinated, vulnerable

 

Read more on:    police  |  saps  |  department of home affairs  |  sars  |  parliament 2016

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