Portfolio committee hears BMA ready for year-end

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With year-end and its associated increased cross-border movement of people fast approaching efforts to ensure it happens effectively and efficiently are welcomed by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (PCHA).

Committee chair Mosa Chabane in a statement released post a briefing by Border Management Authority (BMA) Commissioner Mike Masiapato said his committee “appreciated” plans put in place at particularly land ports of entry. This because of “volumes” crossing at these points he said adding it was “important” the fledgling BMA “learn from past challenges to ensure implementation of remedial measures”.

The PCHA welcomed interaction with the Freight Movers Association (FMA) to find solutions to recurrent challenges of excessive trucks at various ports of entry. The committee welcomed an assurance of concessions made to reduce numbers of trucks during peak days. This development aside the PCHA wants stakeholders to ensure any reduction of goods does not impact negatively on trade – “especially during the festive season”.

The committee acknowledged “continuous interaction” with neighbouring countries to enable “seamless” cross-border movement. It accepts engagements are ongoing and work will continue to ensure minimum disruption in the movement of goods and people.

Also commended is the speed with which sister government departments and agencies including the SA Police Service (SAPS) and Department of Defence (DoD) moved to sign co-operation arrangements with the BMA. “The committee remains of the view real co-operation is the primary solution to challenges faced along South Africa’s borders,” the statement reads.