The new South African Border Management Authority
The South African Parliament is about to adopt the new Border Management Authority Act. This Act has to address longstanding concerns in Government about border security in South Africa. The governing party (the African National Congress, or ANC) has identified “threats to the country’s territorial integrity” as one of the priorities which the Government must address. The two main issues, according to the ANC, are challenges in the management of migration and control of the “border environment”.
The public consultation process has revealed the gravity of the problems about border integrity, but they have also exposed several concerns about the impact which the new Act could have on inter alia trade governance and customs administration. Government Departments and state organs, as well as private sector bodies, have voiced their concerns. There have been some “clarifications” but, once up and running, this elaborate new system of border governance will face its own governance challenges.
The implications for other government structures such as the police, customs administration, and for trade facilitation and compliance with many international trade agreements, will only become clear once the new structures are in place and relationships with other state organs have been established. This Trade Brief discusses some of the features of the system foreseen in the new legislation.
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