The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Mr Mosa Chabane, has commended the generally improved processing of people and goods witnessed at ports of entry in the country, especially at Beit Bridge and Lebombo ports of entry during the festive season. The improvements augur well for the implementation of the staggered roll-out of the Border Management Authority and seamless crossborder movement, a necessary prerequisite to enable Intra-Africa Trade.
Mr Chabane highlighted that the planned and implemented interventions have laid a solid foundation for future improvements. “The plans presented to the committee before the commencement of the festive seasons were adequately implemented which resulted in shorter queues and processing time spent within the port of entry environment. Despite this, we want to highlight that this is just a start and that enhancements will have to be made to ensure that there is no regression,” Mr Chabane emphasised.
Mr Chabane also said collaboration with neighbouring countries must be commended as it has shown what could be achieved through it and joint efforts. Last year the committee called for the full and effective implementation of the plans to ensure a smooth cross-border movement. The committee appreciates the interventions made that include processing of goods and people separately, that have yielded positive results.
Going forward, the committee calls for the strengthening of positive strategies and improvements of those that did not work well. The committee is also hopeful that the full roll-out of the Border Management Authority will further strengthen operations at these ports of entry.
Despite this, the committee remains aware of the remaining challenge of porous borders and illegal migration into the country. Mr Chabane has called on law enforcement agencies to increase patrol of the borderline to deter illegal crossings.
The committee will, following the reopening of Parliament, receive a comprehensive report on the operations at all ports of entry during the festive season.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.