Busa rejects border agency due to cost

BUSINESS Unity SA (Busa) has added its voice to growing opposition to a mooted border management authority and cautioned against such a move, citing the strain this would place on the fiscus when the country is faced with the prospect of having its sovereign credit rating downgraded.

Busa pointed to the socioeconomic impact assessment study conducted on the formation of such an entity, which showed that setting up a border management authority would cost R15bn-R24bn, while capacitating the South African National Defence Force would come at a projected R2.5bn price tag. “The fiscal space for the establishment of the [authority] is simply not available.”

It said the Department of Home Affairs had not provided  information on the funding. “Busa believes funding should be clarified. The assessment recommended against proceedings because of the high risk and high costs associated with a wholesale transfer of functions. We are concerned there is a substantial difference in the cost estimate provided in the assessment and that which has been communicated by the [Department of Home Affairs],” the business federation said.