The Border Management Agency could soon assume all functions of border control and customs and excise collection, courtesy of President Jacob Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle. The issue of customs and excise collection was the subject of a dispute between the home affairs ministry and finance ministry, with the latter wanting the function to remain under the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The Treasury imposed a staff ceiling on government departments in the medium term, hampering efforts by the Department of Home Affairs to set up the agency. When former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was at the helm of the Treasury, the department’s expenditure ceiling for employee compensation was pegged at R3.146bn in 2016-17, R3.233bn in 2017-18 and R3.328bn in 2018-19. The cabinet reshuffle has resulted in the former home affairs minister and a key proponent of the agency, Malusi Gigaba, taking over the finance ministry. He was replaced at the Department of Home Affairs by Prof Hlengiwe ...

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