BORDER MANAGEMENT BILL PASSED THROUGH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY – WHAT IT MEANS
The Department of Home Affairs recently welcomed the passing of the Border Management Authority Bill by the National Assembly. The Bill now goes to the National Council of Provinces for debate and processing before it goes to the President for final authorisation.
Unpacking the Bill
With the implementation of the Bill, it is envisaged that the Border Management Authority (BMA) will be an integrated entity, which would look after the entire management of our borders. The BMA will be driven by the Department of Home Affairs and include elements of the South African Police Services (SAPS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and other government departments. Government’s functions of the BMA are to:
- Contribute to the facilitation of legitimate trade and secure travel
- Facilitate collection of revenue within the border law enforcement area / entry ports
- Contribute to the prevention of smuggling and trafficking of human beings and goods
- Prevent illegal cross-border movement
- Contribute to the protection of South Africa’s environmental and natural resources
- Protect South Africa from harmful and infectious diseases, pests and substances
The implications of BMA for travel and tourism:
In our inputs on the draft BMA Bill in September 2016, we identified two major implications for travel and tourism:
Lack of promotion of legitimate trade and migration
The Bill does not seek to promote legitimate trade or assist in facilitating the legitimate migration of people. We are concerned about the negative impact that the militarisation of the border environment will have on legitimate trade & migration.
Training needs and delays at port of entry
Officers must undergo adequate and appropriate training that would enable them to perform the functions of the border guard effectively. We suggest that the training needs should include aspects of tourism service excellence, which include measures to avoid unnecessary delays at ports of entry.
Tweet us today @tbcza: What implications for business do you expect when the BMA Bill is passed into law?