Community News

BMA to fight human trafficking at borders

News Desk

The Department of Home Affairs gave a briefing on e-Visa, Border Management Authority (BMA) and facilitation of traveller movement recently.

“We give an update on some of the key pronouncements the Department made, in particular, the Border Management Authority (BMA), e-Visa system and also affirm our readiness to facilitate traveller and goods movement at SA ports of entry over the festive season,” the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Motsoaledi, said.

South Africa continues to be open to people who want to come here through regular channels. “Our work to properly document people who come to South Africa and to fight human trafficking, in particular, of persons of women and children across our borders, will receive a major boost with the passing of the BMA Bill.

The National Council of Province is scheduled to consider the BMA Bill as soon as possible. This will bring to finality deliberations on the Bill and once adopted, will be referred back to the National Assembly which will then consider it for submission to the President before it becomes law.

In the meantime, the BMA project management team has been busy finalising the technical work required to establish the BMA. I have directed the BMA project management office to focus their initial efforts in strengthening the borderline between Limpopo and Zimbabwe, Mpumalanga and Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal with Mozambique.

We are aware of the video, doing the rounds, of a serious security breach along the borderline. We can confirm that this happened at the borderline with Mozambique not very far from the Lebombo Border Post.

This is part of the reasons we want to expedite the BMA, to deal with this eventuality.

In the meantime, we want to assure South Africans that we take this matter seriously. We have contacted the SA National Defence Force and the Ministry of Transport.

The reason that we want to expedite the establishment of the BMA is that we concede that due to the porousness of our borders, law enforcement agencies of the country are not able to be present everywhere where criminal acts like this are taking place. However, we have decided to take action against the people involved.

At the moment we have identified that taxis from Mozambique were involved. Such taxis are working based on permits.

The permits may be withdrawn in line with the provisions of Section 30 of the Cross Border Road Transport Act 4 of 1998. The Act is administered by the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CRBTA), an agency of the Department of Transport.

Together with the Minister of Transport, we have agreed that the agency needs to pursue the matter to withdraw the permits so that they are no longer able to operate across the border into South Africa.

A joint law enforcement operation will be mounted in that area to identify the perpetrators.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *