The Border Management Authority: tasked with securing SA’s borders

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos provided by BMA

The increasing risk of organised cross-border crimes, along with the illicit movement of people and goods, is becoming a substantial and growing concern in South Africa, resulting in adverse social and economic consequences for the nation. Recognising the urgent need for intervention, the Border Management Authority (BMA) was established. Although a commendable initiative, it is crucial not to perceive the establishment of the BMA as a complete solution to the immigration challenges and cross-border crimes in our country. Nevertheless, noticeable changes have been observed at our borders since their official introduction in 2023.

South Africa is one of the biggest countries on the African continent with a land area of 1 219 090 km2. It has 4471 km of land border (Department of Defence, 2012) which it shares with six countries, with very different and sometimes difficult terrain – considering the Richtersveld, the Kalahari desert, the Kruger National Park and the Lesotho border. Along this borderline there are 52 land ports of entry. South Africa has an air border of 7660 km (Department of Defence, 2012) with ten international airports (OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria International Airport, Pilanesberg International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, Bram Fischer International Airport, Polokwane International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Upington International Airport, David Stuurman [Gqeberha] International Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport) and a coastline of about 3924 km at the high water line (Department of Defence, 2012) with nine maritime ports of entry (harbours).

[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: March 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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