#AfriTravel: Home Affairs welcomes border management bill

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Pierre Alexander, reader

Cape Town - The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) says it aims to prevent drug-related crimes, human trafficking, illegitimate movement of goods and unauthorised movement of people, by passing the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill by the National Assembly.

The Bill which was announced on Friday 9 June will now go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for processing, and according to DHA once the legislative process is completed, South Africa will be ready to establish an integrated Border Management Authority.

According to DHA, the decision taken in June 2013 to establish a Border Management Authority, to improve management of ports of entry and the borderline, endorsed a vision for the BMA in 2014 through an extensive consultation process.

"The establishment of a Border Management Authority will represent a radical shift from the colonial and apartheid systems that were informed by a desire and mission to create and sustain racism, hostilities and hatred among the people rather than dignified migration," says DHA.

SEE: #AfriTravel: SADC passport on the cards?

According to DHA from November 2015 and May 2016, the government spent an intensive six months deliberating on the Bill at the level of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), before its tabling and approval by the National Assembly.

“As a Section 75 Bill, it will be submitted to the NCOP for processing before it is returned to the House for final consideration.

“When fully established, the BMA will play an important role at the frontline of South Africa’s borders,” says DHA.

Added to this, the Bill will also facilitate legitimate movement of people and goods in line with the country’s socio-economic objectives and is currently underpinned by imperatives ranging from giving South Africa a new policy paradigm of integrated border management, to a determination to facilitate legal and secure movement of people and goods across SA borders.

SEE: Citizenship for children born to foreign parents in SA under investigation

The DHA says this will close the chapter on porous borders bedevilling the country over the years, and will roll back the frontiers of corruption that have been fuelled by fragmented border management.

"The BMA will help in preventing, among others, drug-related crimes, human trafficking, illegitimate movement of goods and unauthorised movement of persons," says DHA

SEE: Skewed perceptions of SA hospitality industry to see tighter enforcement of immigration quotas

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