Following the deployment of 92 additional staff at OR Tambo International Airport between December 9 and January 14, Tourism Update understands that the temporary solution to the long queues has been managed effectively.

Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa CEO, June Crawford, said: “Although the additional staff have improved the situation, it is only temporary and a permanent solution is still to be discussed.”

Chris Zweigenthal, Chief Executive of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa said: “The overall situation has been greatly enhanced with much better and acceptable manning levels for both arrivals and departures as well as the situation for transit passengers.” He added that the problem was not the Department of Home Affairs’ systems but rather the shortage of staff.

Zweigenthal confirmed that the waiting time since the deployment of additional staff had been limited to 20-30 minutes, adding that processing times for international arriving passengers had improved but were still lengthy due to the capturing of biometrics.

Comair Corporate Communications Manager, Susan Van Der Ryst, said: “We did not experience nor did we receive any feedback from passengers of long queues at immigration over the month of December.”

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