Does OR Tambo need to pull up its socks?

2013-11-04 09:46


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Cape Town - Passing through immigration at any airport around the world is probably akin to a visit to the dentist. Queues marshalled by terse officials is the necessary evil of any overseas business or leisure trip.

Tourism Update reports the Department of Home Affairs is set to take stock of its immigration replacement programme at  OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), initiated by the former Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The key question the assessment program wants Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and all other ports of entry to answer, is whether everything possible was being done to enable the efficient facilitation of travellers.

Complaints vary about the process at ORTIA, with some passengers saying there is often too little immigration officers on duty while others allege that they’ve been harassed for a bribe in order to expedite the process.

The report states that Home Affairs has invested heavily in managing crisis situations that include early, late or cancelled flights – with the number of  immigration counters opened accordingly.

Reasons cited by the department for what it says are ill-conceived perceptions of bottlenecks at one of Africa’s busiest airports, included operations affected by change of shifts as well as the design of OR Tambo International Airport – said to be a downfall of the apartheid-era construction aimed at keeping people out, instead of letting them in.

What has your experience been like at ORTIA, tell us about it in the comments section below or email us at

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