Since the establishment of Boarder Management Authority or BMA in April 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially launched the BMA on the 5th October 2023 at Musina sports ground.
The BMA is established in terms of section 27 of the Boarder Management Authority Act to strengthen and manage goods and people movement in all South African Ports of entries to prevent illegal trade activities, illegal immigration and enhancing national security.
With Beitbridge boarder being one of the busiest ports of entry with hundreds of Zimbabweans crossing to Musina for different activities, President Ramaphosa received Zimbabwean head of State his excellency, Emerson Mnangagwa to hold official talks about issues relating to illegal migration and inspection of operations on site.
Prior to the establishment of BMA, different departments such as Health, Agriculture, Home Affairs and SARS that operated from the ports of entry used different legislation reporting to various management of different departments but, with the establishment and official launch, all the stakeholders are integrated and coordinated by single command and lead by BMA commissioner Dr Mike Masiapato who was delegated powers to lead the Third National Arm Law Enforcement Authority after Defense and Police force by the sitting President.
In his response to the walk about to the South African immigration offices, President Mnangagwa said he felt obligated to be part of this important era.
“We had a chat with my brother Ramaphosa and he told me that he will be inspecting this place and it was an opportunity for us to meet as two neighboring presidents to inspect together” Said Mnangagwa
Presiding over the launch, President Ramaphosa said the establishment of BMA was based on a number of challenges including influx of undocumented illegal migrant to South Africa.
“South Africa belongs to all who live in including foreigners. All foreigners are subjected to South African laws and regulations including BMA regulations. When our country and ports of entries are well protected and well managed, we can prevent illegal importation and exist of goods in the country. We are able to facilitate lawful trade on a greater scale in an efficient manner to increase inter African Trade. Boarder Management Authority will assist to curb human trafficking and cross boarder crime”. Said Ramaphosa
From the 1st April 2023 all immigration officers from Department of Home Affairs and other relevant officials from departments and entities were transferred to BMA to form single integrated effective entity to combat crime and render quality services in all boarder ports.
More than 500 boarder guards have been recruited since July 2023 after vigorous selection process that included interviews and physical fitness to patrol all boarder access be it land, sea or air.
Amongst those who attended the launch were ministers and deputy ministers, MECs leader of Operation Dudula Nhlanhla Lux who has been vocal about the influx of illegal migrants in the country.
Lux said he is happy that something is being done to manage the boarders. “ we need legally documented migrants in the country and if BMA will effect such, we will support government in this initiative, they have our support”.
By: Emmaculate Cindi