Cape Town - Only 42% of aircraft in South Africa have been certified as airworthy.
According to Civil Aviation laws, flying without airworthiness certificate is illegal.
Leon Dillman, executive head of the Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa suggested that the problem lies with the CAA itself, as they do not have the capacity to process airworthiness certificates efficiently.
Phindiwe Gwebu, head of communications for the CAA, confirmed the numbers on Tuesday and said that there are currently only 51 airworthiness inspectors.
Dillman added that the CAA makes it particularly hard for operators to fly by their rules and that many are considering moving their business to neighbouring countries like Botswana and Namibia.
Most of the aircraft on the CAA's flight register currently fall into the categories of commercial aviation, light aircraft and sport aircraft.