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S. Africa envisages border management agency to curb illegal immigration

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

CAPE TOWN, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Plans are advanced for the establishment of South Africa's Border Management Agency (BMA) led by the Department of Home Affairs to curb illegal immigration, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said on Tuesday.

The SA government has set the Port of Cape Town as one pilot project of the BMA, the minister said in his budget vote speech in Parliament.

"We are fully active in this project and all indications are that when the BMA becomes operational in 2016, it would have benefited from the experiences of the various pilots that are currently underway."

Illegal immigration, Mahlobo said, has become a serious challenge for the country because of its vast borders such as land, air and maritime.

"Effective control and management of our South Africa's border security is critical."

A month ago, the minister visited the Lebombo Port of Entry in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga Province and had engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including the local community. "We have received very positive feedback and input which will enable us to strengthen our border security," Mahlobo said.

Illegal immigration has been regarded as one of the factors that were blamed for the recent wave of xenophobic violence that killed seven people and displaced thousands of foreigners.

According to the latest figures provided by the Department of Home Affairs, more than 330,000 foreigners have overstayed their welcome in the country since 2010.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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