The Border Management Authority (BMA) Act of 2020 establishes the BMA, which will be responsible for the implementation of border law enforcement functions, except customs functions, at Ports of Entry and within the maritime and land border enforcement areas of the country.
A BMA Road Map is in place, which will guide the roll-out of the BMA over the short-, medium- and long-term. This 15- year road map is being implemented in an incremental manner over of six (6) phases. The immediate focus in 2020/21 and 2021/22 will be on the first three (3) phases that address:
- Phase 1: Completing tasks from the Pre-Establishment Phase;
- Phase 2: Undertaking tasks linked to the Planning and Establishment Phase; and
- Phase 3: Commencing implementation of the Phase dealing with Initial Roll-Out of the BMA.
Each of these phases have specific identified tasks. Within the context of the limited funding made available to the BMA over the current 2020 MTEF of R109,5m, these priorities and tasks will be flexibly executed. The objective over the current term of government, i.e. 2020 – 2024, is to roll-out the BMA to eighteen (18) Ports of Entry and five (5) segments of the land border enforcement area.
Presently the Department of Home Affairs is focusing on the following immediate tasks:
- Finalisation of key BMA legislative instruments which will enable the implementation of the BMA, i.e;
- The BMA Commencement Proclamation; and
- A Section 97 Presidential Proclamation pertaining to the transfer of border law enforcement functions from relevant organs of state to the Minister of Home Affairs, who in turn will delegate these functions to the BMA.
- Preparations for the recruitment and appointment of a Commissioner and two Deputy Commissioners for the BMA. This is key as the Commissioner, in terms of the BMA Act 2020, is legally mandated to recruit and appoint officials of the BMA and the officers of the BMA Border Guard.
- Finalisation of separate Implementation Protocols, as required by the BMA Act 2020, between the BMA and the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the Department of Defence. These Protocols will inform the working relationship between the BMA and these organs of state.
- Urgent finalisation and implementation of a BMA Border Guard mobilisation, training and deployment strategy which will be implemented for the initial roll-out in 2020/21 across targeted segments of the land border law enforcement area.