South Africa trials new border system

The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) is in the process of implementing a new pilot project which will significantly reduce waiting times at the country’s land borders, says Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

The project, which is being developed in conjunction with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and accreditation agencies, is specifically aimed at fast-tracking accredited trucks across the border with limited interventions from border control.

The C-BRTA is also in a process of negotiating with other government and private stakeholders regarding the implementation of a new electronic queue management system that will allow trucks to the border to be allocated designated time slots, he said.

“The electronic queue management system will also be implemented together with a holding facility closer to the mouth of the border as there is no parking space along the corridor for such truck volumes.

“If trucks arrive at the border before their allocated time slots, they will then be allocated numbers on arrival and be released when called by border authorities to cross,” he said.

Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has also indicated that his department is in the process of finalising its One-Stop Border Policy (OSBP) and upgrades to six of the country’s border posts.

The policy aims to harmonise the movement of people and goods between South Africa’s land ports of entry and its neighbouring countries, as well as address congestion that results in delays.

To address these issues, the government will establish a new Border Management Authority (BMA) which will be at the forefront of fighting illicit and unauthorised movement at the country’s borders. The BMA will be established as a national public entity and will report to the minister of Home Affairs.

Motsoaledi said his department is currently taking the policy through the requisite parliamentary process, with the aim of presenting it to cabinet for approval later in March.

He added that his department has also started a process of developing a separate OSBP Bill that will go through the legislative process led by Parliament.

Read: Automobile Association warns of ‘the biggest increases to fuel prices in South Africa’s history’

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