In a bid to address longstanding border challenges, the Commissioner of the Border Management Authority (BMA), Michael Masiapato, has emphasized the importance of strong collaborative ties between South Africa and Zimbabwe. These comments come as Zimbabwe works towards the development of a Border Ports Authority Bill aimed at establishing the Zimbabwe Border Ports Authority.
Border officials from both South Africa and Zimbabwe are currently engaged in discussions in Pretoria, seeking to strengthen cooperation in border management.
Commissioner Masiapato acknowledged that Zimbabwe stands to gain valuable insights from South Africa’s approach to border management, which has recently adopted a new system. He highlighted the significance of transitioning from a multi-agency approach to an integrated border management model with a single command in control. According to Masiapato, this shift is crucial for effective border management and emphasizes the facilitation of legitimate movements of people and goods across borders.
“Our focus must be on the legitimate movement of persons and goods across our borders, with the intention to grow our economy and ultimately ensure the realization of regional economic integration. This is very much critical as the step towards the realization and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” Commissioner Masiapato stated.
These discussions mark a significant step towards resolving border-related challenges between South Africa and Zimbabwe, with the ultimate aim of fostering economic growth and regional integration. The establishment of the Zimbabwe Border Ports Authority, as outlined in the forthcoming Border Ports Authority Bill, is expected to play a pivotal role in achieving these goals.