The controversial biometric system at the South Africa’s international airports will soon be a thing of the past for South Africans travelling abroad.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says in the near future, South Africans travelling abroad will be exempted from the rigorous process of the biometric system.
According to Gigaba, Home Affairs has realised that the system has been causing several delays with flights to and from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
The biometric system was introduced by Home Affairs Department about a year ago to verify all travelers leaving and entering South Africa.
Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says regular travelers will no longer be required to queue to submit information.
Tshwete says, “We would give travelers assurances that once your information has been captured in our system, it remains in our system. As time goes on you will see the travel on time improves drastically because many people are frequent travelers and will not require the long process of submitting information when they do come for the second time. They would go through a shorter process.”
At a media briefing at OR Tambo airport on Thuraday, Gigaba system upgrades were being done to on enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS). The system upgrades caused delay for a good number of passengers and flights on Friday 1 July.
“The upgrades we made in this regard impacted on the processing of travellers, particularly on Friday 1 July (2016),” Gigaba said.
The delays were made worse by higher than expected traveller volumes as a result of the school holidays.
Also, passengers not checking in on time coupled with insufficient communication to travelers on what to expect before boarding their flight contributed to it.