Friday, 08 July 2016 10:20

Biometric delays at OR Tambo highlight bigger issues

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The introduction of biometric capturing has highlighted a bigger issue – the need for more staff – at OR Tambo International Airport.

The chaos that erupted following the changeover to the biometric system on July 1 resulted in travellers experiencing delays of up to three hours.

The process includes capturing fingerprints and an eye scan and is for both inbound and outbound travellers.

On Thursday Department of Home Affairs announced SA travellers are no longer required to have their biometrics captured when flying in and out of South African airports.  

Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, announced today that the biometric system, which was rolled out for all passengers at airports last week, creating up to three-hour delays for both outbound and inbound travellers, has been updated. “As soon as the system reads a South African passport it now picks up that biometrics are not needed,” he explains.

Gigaba said that during the rollout of the system it came to the Department of Home Affairs’ attention that it did not have sufficient personnel in order to process the movement of all passengers with biometrics.

He also said that the processing of South African travellers’ biometrics was an oversight as this information is superfluous because it is already contained in their ID documents.

According to the Gigaba, the system is now running smoothly and travellers are no longer experiencing delays.

The department is, however, advising travellers to proceed through security gates as soon as they have checked in for their flight, in order to avoid congestion at immigration counters.

Source: Tourism Update

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