Border bill back in spotlight
A bill that collapsed in Parliament because of a lack of a quorum is back on the agenda for adoption by the National Assembly tomorrow.
ANC MPs failed to show up in the House last month when opposition parties boycotted the voting on the Border Management Authority Bill.
Opposition parties have objected to the bill, arguing it will strip the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of its powers to collect taxes at customs.
Sars is said to collect 30 percent of its total R1.3 trillion tax from customs.
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize denied in Parliament, during the debate on the bill before its collapse, that her department would take over the powers of revenue collection.
This was also denied by other government officials who said Sars would keep its revenue collection function, but opposition parties were unconvinced.
They said it would be a disaster if Sars were to lose its powers to collect revenue at customs, amounting to R300 billion.
The bill creates a single entity that operates the country’s borders. When Parliament was expected to adopt the bill last month, opposition parties staged a walkout, and the ANC, which is the majority party, could not get the needed 201 votes to approve the bill.
The legislation has been a source of disagreement in Parliament. The Treasury also raised concerns on the powers of Sars when the bill was tabled in 2015.
They said Sars had skilled personnel who could be lost if their powers to collect tax was taken over by another entity.
During the debate, Mkhize said they had addressed all the concerns raised by various parties, and the new agency would not take over the functions of another entity.