The operation of Fireblade Aviation private air traffic terminal would likely have to continue until a memorandum of understanding and policy were in place on the matter, Home Affairs acting director general Thulani Mavuso told Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs on Tuesday evening.
Committee member for the African National Congress (ANC) Dineo Raphuti urged the department to put an agreement in place, as operations were already in place.
Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba told the committee, however, that under the department there was no policy on private VVIP terminals.
"This is the first one of its kind to be arrived at in this manner. There is no policy. The policy now needs to be developed so that it can provide a framework for how such issues are dealt with going forward," said Gigaba, early on in the meeting.
Gigaba said he would consult with Cabinet colleagues on how best to formalise the arrangement and create a policy that would allow the operations to continue, such that they did not undermine the state’s role at ports of entry.
"The other question that arises is whose custody such a function would be. Airports will fall under ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) and the Department of Transport. Home Affairs provides but one service in the space of terminals and ports of entry," Gigaba said.
Mavuso said the department was working on a memorandum and policy to guide such operations, as applications for similar terminals were in the works for terminals in Cape Town and George. He said it was vital that the department "avoids doing something that will come back to bite it".
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