A streamlined passport and visa processing system is set to be introduced at four South African border posts which will see the end to excessively long ques especially during peak traveling periods like Easter and Christmas.
Announced last week the Department of Home Affairs’ Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed that work has started on a new border system which will make it easier for people to travel to and from South Africa. The new system known as the One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP) will be developed in partnership with the private sector and with neighbouring countries.
“This model means that people and trucks will be processed by both countries under one roof. When we move over to this model, people and trucks will only stop once at a border and be processed by both countries.
“We are pursuing the OSBP in association with other government agencies,” Motsoaledi said at a presentation of the plan on 11 February.
Motsoaledi added that this system will form part of the introduction of new Border Management Authority (BMA) legislation.
“Whenever we mention border control in the form of an instrument like the BMA many people, unfortunately, immediately associate it with solely a mechanism to stop people from coming to the country.
“It is important for us as a country to keep on reminding ourselves that there are common security issues worldwide in border control. These are common to all countries regardless of their differences in immigration policies.”
The minister confirmed that the BMA will include a deployment plan for border guards which will stop people from illegally crossing into South Africa through the borderline. This deployment focuses on the hotspots which have already been identified, he said.
“Among other functions, the BMA will facilitate and manage the legitimate movement of persons within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry.
“It is our considered view that the BMA will improve service efficiencies at the ports, through integrated operations.
“The BMA will improve the way South Africa handles border management thus to assist the country in delivering on regional mechanisms vital for the envisaged integration and free trade area for our beloved continent – Africa”, Motsoaledi said.
The department explained that the plan will be phased in to eventually include all border posts. The programme will be piloted at the Cape Town Harbour Port, Oshoek, Lebombo and possibly OR Tambo International Airport
Source: Business Tech