Correction: A former version of this article incorrectly quoted 'R25 million' to be 'R25 billion'.
A cadet programme between Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is on the cards to help alleviate the long immigration queues that plague the airport.
Although the DA claims that the Department of Home Affairs refused to collaborate on a cadet programme, CTIA spokesperson Deidre Davids notes that the DHA is still investigating the proposal put forward by the airport.
SEE: DHA managers rapped on the knuckles by Gigaba as CT Airport sees 'R25m loss due to queues'
The programme aims to train up additional immigration officers from the local community. DA's spokesperson on economic opportunities and tourism Beverley Schäfer said in a press release that DHA would rather centralise the employment of cadets than train up new officers from the area specifically for the airport.
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) however told Traveller24 that the proposal to source local staff was supported by the department in principle.
"The late deployment and long training periods may require that the DHA use previously trained cadets from across the country, so that the immigration officers can be deployed during the coming peak season at Cape Town International Airport," says Davids.
Schäfer will be petitioning the DHA minister Malusi Gigaba to address the proposal and the shortage of immigration officials at the airport.
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Traveller24 reached out the DHA for a comment on the proposal but are yet to receive a response.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that CTIA was losing around R25 million a year in duty-free shopping because of long queues at DHA's passport control, where the number of officials has decreased from 82 to 68 since 2015, despite the exponential growth that the airport has experienced.