SA not shutting neighbours out - Gigaba

2016-12-06 21:36
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (Jenni Evans, News24)

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the proposed new border management authority is not an attempt at keeping citizens of neighbouring countries out, but a means of shutting down "irregular entry into our country".  

Gigaba was speaking to journalists in Parliament on Tuesday following a presentation by his department on its 2015/16 annual performance.

He said the proposed Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill, which will set up a centralised border control unit, is still on the agenda, and aims to clamp down on illegal immigration, among other things.

"We belong in Africa. We will never shut our country down," he said after the portfolio committee meeting.

"What we want to shut down is irregular entry into our country, or illegal entry through borderline crossings."

He said there were no reasons why citizens from SADC countries could not enter the country legally with the proper documentation.

'No contention with Sars'

He also said reported differences with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the police over their constitutional mandates at the border have been ironed out by Cabinet.

"There are no differences with anyone. There is a Cabinet decision about the establishment of the authority and a timeline."

During public hearings into the bill in September, officials from the South African Police Service (Saps) and Sars both expressed concern over their mandates at the border.

The police said the Constitution empowered only them to police at the country's 72 ports of entry. Similarly, Sars was constitutionally mandated to handle customs revenue at the border.

Gigaba said Cabinet had made a concession as it was never intended for the Border management authority to collect revenue.

"Revenue will still go to Sars into the revenue account. The BMA will only be responsible for the inspection and enforcement of goods arriving at the country's ports of entry."

Bill to be passed before April

He said only 10% of revenue was physically collected at the ports. The other 90% is all collected electronically, he said.

Every other player will cede its functions and personnel to the new border management authority, he added.

Gigaba expects the bill to be passed by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces before April 2017, after the House failed to conclude deliberations this year.

After that, there will be a transitional phase of setting up the different legs of the authority from between 12 months to seven years, he said.

In October, home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni said at public hearings the country's borders are currently manned by 9 000 employees from five unco-ordinated organs of state.

This resulted in a large influx of undocumented foreigners and contraband goods as the various players focused on their own mandates at the expense of border security, Apleni said.

Gigaba assured both the police and the revenue service that the new authority would not usurp their powers, but that all other role players will cede to the border management authority.

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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.