Cape Town - The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba says system issues in the change-over to Biometrics at OR Tambo, which resulted in lengthy delays at international inbound and outbound Immigration check points have been resolved.
A number of passengers and flights were delayed on Friday 1 July as system upgrades to enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS) were being rolled out, Gigaba said at a media briefing at OR Tambo on Thursday.
The implementation of Biometrics started in January 2016, and as part of a phased-in approach from 27 June in line with the Home Affairs Modernisation Programme, the DHA says it increased the roll-out of biometrics to cover 65% of its counters, including at the terminals for arrivals and transit.
"The upgrades we made in this regard impacted on the processing of travellers, particularly on Friday 1 July (2016)," Gigaba said.
This was also impacted by higher than expected traveller volumes over the school holidays, travellers not checking in on time and insufficient communication to travellers on what to expect before travelling, according to Gigaba.
As a result the department says it decommissioned biometric capability on some systems at the time but the issue has been resolved and it is working with Acsa to improve communication and preparedness of travellers when it comes to the new biometric capturing requirements.
The DHA says it will be airing a short introductory on biometrics prior to landing in the country, and informing travellers to proceed directly to immigration after check in.
“Communication, periodically, by ACSA, (on the intercom system and signage) will greatly assist in informing travellers throughout the airport.”
The biometric system, which requires a scanning of finger prints on both hands as well as capturing a digital image of each traveller, is intended to ease the movement of people travelling through SA. The system has been implemented at four international airports , Lanseria, King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and in the Transit area at OR Tambo International Airport - and be will expanded to more airports by the end of 2016.
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