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Saps, Treasury raise red flags over Border Management Authority Bill

Both say while they support a single border control body, Sars must remain in charge of customs.

Beitbridge border post on the South African side. Picture: Google maps.

CAPE TOWN - A draft law aimed at creating a new, overarching border control entity has run into problems.

Parliament's Home Affairs Portfolio Committee has been briefed on the Border Management Authority Bill by the department, the South African Police Service (Saps) and National Treasury.

Cabinet approved the Bill in September 2015 to deal with weaknesses in the state's ability to secure the country's ports of entry.

The Bill proposes harnessing the responsibilities of Home Affairs, the police and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) among others in one agency under a commissioner.

Red flags have been raised by both Saps and National Treasury over the Border Management Authority Bill.

Treasury's Ismail Momoniat says while they support a single border control body, Sars must remain in charge of customs and excise and revenue collection.

"We're talking of significant revenue collection, and that is a speciality… The Bill is a framework, it's important it doesn't generate uncertainty for an important institution like Sars.

The Saps' Major General David Chilembe says the Constitution says South Africa must have a single police force. He says it may have to be amended if the new border authority takes over policing duties.

Chilembe also says the police, and not Home Affairs, should lead the new entity.

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