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Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni told Parliament’s home affairs committee on Tuesday that the department was close to ironing out its differences with other departments over the contentious Border Management Authority Bill.

The bill envisages the establishment of a border management authority to take responsibility for the country’s various ports of entry, complete with customs function and armed, uniformed personnel.

Other departments, namely Police and National Treasury, have pointed out the overlap in function the authority could create.

Treasury came out to defend the position of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as the collector of revenue from customs, while the South African Police Service (SAPS) sought clarity on how personnel would work with SAPS personnel at borders, if at all.

 

Portfolio committee chairman Lemias Mashile said the department still needed to hold further engagements, especially with Treasury and SAPS. He said synchronising the functions of various agents managing borders was critical to mending the state of the country’s “porous” borders.

Apleni said the department had conducted international study tours on three other continents to investigate international best practice models for border management.