Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba expects the draft Border Management Agency (BMA) Bill to reach Parliament next month.
He told a Cape Town Press Club briefing his department had undertaken a consultation process with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) last November to ensure what he called “maximum consensus among all relevant constituencies” on the policy framework of the BMA.
The BMA, as envisaged, will take over all border management functions at entry and exit points nationally. The establishment of both a coast guard and a border guard has been mentioned as part of the BMA function by Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, but to date no further information on these has been made public.
It will carry out duties at, among others, land border posts such as Beit Bridge and Komatipoort, ports such as Cape Town and Durban and airports such as King Shaka International in Durban and OR Tambo International in Ekurhuleni.
When up and operational the BMA will be an agency of Gigaba’s department with input from, among others, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), SA Revenue Service in the form of its customs and excise element, the Department of State Security and the SA Police Service.
According to Gigaba the remainder of the current financial year will see the BMA project management office focus on the development and implementation of an overall change management strategy in preparation for the establishment of the BMA next April. Tasks set for it include preparation of detailed operating, organisational, human resources and financial models.