South African President Ramaphosa hosts Singapore PM Hsien Loong in Cape Town

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa to foster cooperation between the two countries in ensuring that the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo works properly.

The South African president's engagement with Mnangagwa at the point of entry aimed at figuring out solutions to issues concerning illegal cross-border activities including the movement of undocumented foreign nationals, according to SABC News.

Ramaphosa explained on Thursday that the Border Management Authority will redevelop six ports, which will ensure that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is implemented seamlessly. AfCFTA is an agreement that allows African countries to trade cost-effectively.

"We will be able to work towards eradicating various forms of red tape that are hindering trade, investment, and the movement of persons," he added, the government's official website reported. "The Border Management Authority will be redeveloping six ports of entry as one-stop-border-posts."

According to Ramaphosa, this approach will ensure that land border crossings get improved efficiency by combining the stops required for processing exit and entry formalities.

The South African president recalled that in July, the deployment of the first officers of the border guard of the Border Management Authority was at vulnerable segments of the borderline, including the informal community crossing points.

Ramaphosa revealed that the South African National Defense Force will protect and safeguard the border. "The border guard will interface with the nearest police station with regards to the occurrence of a crime at a port of entry," he said.

He announced that the Border Management Authority is now the third armed service in South Africa, following the South African National Defense Force and the South African Police Service.

"It is mandated to perform border management functions within ports of entry as well as the law enforcement area," he added. "The Border Management Authority is being established through an incremental approach."

There have already been steps taken to "integrate under the Border Management Authority various relevant functions of the departments of Home Affairs, Agriculture, Health, and Fisheries, Forestry and the Environment."

In July, Minister of Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi talked about South Africa's commitment to ensuring that the country's border ports were safer and less porous to facilitate easy trade practices.

South Africa has a total of 72 entry ports. Among these, 53 are land, 11 are international airports and eight are seaports.

The minister also revealed that the government is all set to upgrade or redevelop six entry ports, such as Beitbridge - Zimbabwe, Lebombo - Mozambique, Maseru Bridge - Lesotho, Ficksburg - Lesotho, Kopfontein - Botswana and Oshoek - Eswatini.