JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Border Management Authority Bill into law.
The bill came into effect on Tuesday night.
The president said the bill would tighten border control and give authorities efficient and effective functions at ports of entry.
South Africa has long been haunted by illegal immigration, aggravated by a messy border. As a result, xenophobia-inspired attacks on foreigners have sporadically flared up, causing domestic tension and diplomatic crises.
The Border Management Authority Bill will pave the way for government to set up a single authority to manage the country’s ports of entry.
However, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) will continue to manage revenue collected by the new authority.
The president said that the law would replace the challenges currently facing different agencies that manage different aspects of border control.
“The new law provides for the establishment, organisation, regulation, functions, and control of the Border Management Authority, the appointment of its Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners and officials,” said Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko in a statement on Tuesday.
“The law also provides for their terms of office, conditions of service and functions and powers. Furthermore, the law provides for the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee, Border Technical Committee, and advisory committees, for the review or appeal of decisions of officers, and the definition of certain things offences and the levying of penalties.”
Diko said this strengthened agency would mean security at the borders would be beefed.