South African Tourism has welcomed the recent deployment of the first cohort of the Border Management Authority (BMA) guards by the Department of Home Affairs.
“This will provide much-needed assistance to ensure seamless and hassle-free processing of all visitors coming in and out of our ports of entry. The deployment of the guards at the Beitbridge port of entry in Limpopo is the first stage of a phased approach to the establishment of this Authority, which will tighten border management by implementing an integrated and co-ordinated approach in the border management environment,” said Acting CEO of SA Tourism, Themba Khumalo.
The BMA will be fully established on April 1, 2023, through the integration of five streams of functions performed by various government departments, namely: Home Affairs; Forestry, Fisheries and Environment; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development as well as Health.
This includes access control functions conducted by members of the SA Police Service in the ports of entry. “When fully established, the BMA will play a pivotal role in further tackling border security challenges impacting on the country and its neighbours. This includes addressing issues of unco-ordinated traveller processing, cross-border criminality, illegal crossings and undue delays in the facilitation of movement of goods and services,” explained Khumalo.
The BMA model will pave the way for the creation of smart border posts and systems and advance trade facilitation in the region.