Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor opened the new Cape Town maritime Port of Entry Control Centre, recently established at Cowrie Place within the Cape Town harbor.
It is widely expected that this project will improve migration control and border management. The Cape Town Port of Entry Control Centre is an important step in government’s effort to enhance the integrated approach to border management. It will assist in tackling problems around border security and control in the harbour. As opposed to the current coordinating system at maritime ports, this integrated model brings together members of staff from various departments, functions and infrastructure. In the past government departments and state agencies were dispersed across the Cape Town harbour and throughout the greater city. The integrated centre, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, is likely to serve as a precedent for many more ports of entry in the maritime, air and land border environment in the country.
It draws from other experiences and best practices internationally. It will operate as a model ‘Government House’ that brings together government departments and state agencies including immigration, customs, health, agriculture, security and intelligence under one roof, to promote a seamless, modernised, efficient and effective service, according to Pandor. The Cape Town harbour and its various commercial and official government activities have a bearing on the province’s and the city’s development. The 2012/2013 statistics show that 870,851 containers and 729,736 tons of dry bulk moved through the Cape Town port.
In this period 62,570 people entered and/or departed from the Cape Town harbour. The new, integrated Cape Town maritime port of entry control centre boasts an intergovernmental coordination monitoring centre, within the building, where information is shared among participating departments and agencies. About 90 staff members from various government departments and agencies are expected to be located in the centre.
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