The newest addition to South African government efforts to control the country’s lengthy land border – the Border Management Authority (BMA) – will see the first “cohort” of border guards deployed at “problematic areas” in the second quarter of the year.
In March the authority made public its intention to recruit 200 people into its ranks as border guards and inspectors at ports of entry.
Successful recruitment – and training – was briefly mentioned by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi during his budget vote address to the National Assembly (NA) this week.
“Recruitment of the first cohort of Border guards has been completed and they will be brought in next week for onboarding, which includes an orientation programme and deployment to selected areas of the borderline which are known to be problematic. Their uniform with their own logo has been purchased together with other tools of the trade. It is hoped this cohort will be officially launched in the first days of the next quarter,” he said adding BMA implementation was “well underway”.
The fledgling authority currently is “incubated” as a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) branch. This will change come next April when, according to Motsoaledi, the BMA becomes a standalone schedule 3A public entity, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Dr Mike Masiapata is BMA Commissioner, appointed last October, with former SA Police Service (SAPS) major general David Chilembe as his deputy.
At the time of his appointment DHA said he has “extensive experience in the intelligence environment” as acting national intelligence co-ordinator. Masiapata’s CV lists 19 years in Cabinet’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster.
The BMA has an own insignia and uniform as well as a vehicle fleet of 15 Toyota Land Cruisers at present. Motsoaledi made mention of the acquisition of “other tools of the trade” during his budget vote presentation but did not give specifics.