Parliament sets Regulatory Framework on fixed based operators

Home Affairs Minister must accelerate the process to set up a Regulatory Framework on Fixed Based Operators

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has mandated the Minister of Home Affairs to accelerate the process of putting in place a regulatory framework to regulate the operation of private terminals at all ports of entries in South Africa. The Committee received an update on from the Department of Home Affairs and Fireblade Aviation on the agreement for Fireblade to operate at OR Tambo International Airport.

The committee maintains that there are serious gaps in terms of regulating Fixed Base Operators. This has the possibility to undermine both the security of the country and the ability of the Portfolio Committee to do effective oversight. It is unacceptable that the matter has been left to junior officials to consider. We want this matter to be pitched at the level of Directors-General and Ministers to give it the necessary impetus that it deserves, said Mr Hlomani Chauke, the Chairperson of the Committee.

While the committee welcomed the consultation work already done it remains of the view that the process must be speeded up to ensure its conclusion before the end of the fifth term of Parliament. Due to the Constitutional Court review of the Fireblade matter, the committee resolved to give the department time to brief the Minister on decisions taken by the former Minister. This will assist the Minister in providing greater clarity on the way forward.

On oversight, the committee reiterated the need to have a formal agreement between the state stakeholders and Fixed Based Operators inclusive of Fireblade. This will also enable the Portfolio Committee to do effective oversight.

The committee also urged the Department of Home Affairs to work with the National Council of Provinces to expedite the consideration and passing of the Border Management Authority Bill. The Bill was passed by the National Assembly last year to strengthen the coordination and operation at our country’s borders.

Meanwhile, the committee has called on South Africans to collect their Identification documentations to enable them to vote in the upcoming National and Provincial Elections. The committee expressed its concerns that 371 081 IDs had not been collected, with Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal having the highest numbers of uncollected IDs.

The committee called on the Department to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders such as municipalities and faith based organisations to encourage citizens to collect their IDs.

Source: Government of South Africa