The newly launched Border Management Authority (BMA) seeks to ensure that the country’s immigration laws and regulations are upheld and enforced. That is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking at the BMA launch in Musina, Limpopo earlier on Thursday.
The BMA is a single entity of command and control for the movement of people and goods at the country’s ports which include land, sea, and air.
President Ramaphosa says the authority is only aimed at ensuring that foreign nationals coming into South Africa do so legally and are not barred from entering the country.
“A more secure border is important for curbing illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. It will help in combating cross-border crime. The Constitution declares that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. All citizens have the right to enter, remain in, and reside anywhere in the republic. As is the case in every sovereign country, foreign nationals who seek refuge or wish to live and work in South Africa are subject to immigration laws and regulations. The Border Management Authority is tasked to ensure that the country’s immigration laws and regulations are upheld and enforced.”
🇿🇦 South Africa has 72 official ports of entry, predominantly located adjacent to our 6 neighbouring of which each one of them would have a single Port Commanders responsible for the implementation of the 5 key work-streams of immigration, port health, environment, agriculture… pic.twitter.com/TU2obBkRO8
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) October 5, 2023
South Africa and Zimbabwe
President Ramaphosa also had an engagement with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the port of entry earlier.
He says he wants both South Africa and Zimbabwe to work together to ensure that the Beitbridge border post functions well.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa says as the two presidents are continuously meeting, the border authorities on the sides of the countries should have improved working relations.
“If two of us continuously meet and chat why should our people at the border not have the same relationship, we want this unit or entities to talk to each other as well as the two Presidents. That’s why I’m here.”
The engagement was aimed at finding solutions to the challenge of illegal cross-border activities, including the movement of undocumented foreign nationals.
Ramaphosa says the trade between these neighbouring countries must improve.
“We are on inspection border inspection to come and see how our two borders are functioning because there are so many people visiting from both countries who cross the border, we want to ensure that our two borders entries are functioning well and to enhance ease of movement of our people and ease of movement of goods so that trades between the two countries can be improved.”
Gallery| Border Management Authority