Cape Town - The issue of crime in and around South Africa's busiest airport is being addressed at national level, with Minister of Police, Fakile Mbalula announcing added new measures to be put into place over the coming weeks as part of the "master security plan" at OR Tambo International.
This follows a growing crime wave at the airport over the last few months.
ALERT: OR Tambo warns passengers of 'follow-home' crime issue
Mbalula say SAPS, together with all the airport authorities involved will "restore faith in law and enforcement at the airport" through the comprehensive security plan, of which not all the details can be shared as it would comprise its effectiveness.
However, he did state passengers need to be aware that random roadblocks and stop and searches will be taking place and should therefore plan accordingly in order to avoid any inconvenience and unnecessary delays.
Random checks - plan accordingly to arrive early
Added to this, access roads to the airport are going to be limited in the coming weeks. Mbalula states airport management are currently busy with "road access studies to see how to effectively achieve this" - with its effects to be communicated to passengers in the coming weeks.
“You will need to plan your trip to and from the airport well in advance of your schedule flight times, for no further delays and inconvenience to your trip will give a gap to criminals to undermine law enforcement and bring about fear and unsafe environment to our citizens.”
SEE: UPDATE: OR Tambo Airport to get dedicated security task team
Vetting of 35 000 employees to start on Monday
Added to this, State Security Minister David Mahlobo says the vetting process at OR Tambo International Airport will begin on Monday, 24 July.
This will include the vetting of some 35 000 employees, including "entities, service providers and contractors for the airport".
The vetting process will prioritise those in "strategic and critical levels of leadership" positions, especially taking into consideration "infrastructure sabotage and vulnerabilities".
Some 70% of metro police working at the airport are being changed according to Mahlobo, with the number being increased from 95 to 120 personnel to make sure the successful implementation of the new checks and balances.
Since the 11th of July an estimated 567 cars have been stopped and searched as well 118 individuals loitering around the airports searched. It has led to two practical arrests but efforts will be intensified to “make the airport a crime free zone”.