DHA managers rapped on the knuckles by Gigaba as CT Airport sees 'R25m loss due to queues'

2018-06-29 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Imag

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Correction: A former version of this article incorrectly quoted 'R25 million' to be 'R25 billion'.

Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba addressed over a thousand Home Affairs managers at a meeting on Thursday to address the issues regarding processing time at branches across the country.

Coming from all over the country, Gigaba put special focus on his campaign to shorten queues and improve professionalism across the department to better serve South Africa's citizens and other residents.

SEE: SA e-visas prioritised as sticky ease of access continues to hamper tourism growth

He emphasises the urgent need for leadership and trust among the various heads of the department. Gigaba also adds that he's still getting complaints every day despite his "clear instructions" given to managers.

"All of us carry a similar responsibility to ensure that our clients receive the kind of service that they deserve.

"We are to restore dignity to the people of our country. This is what is enshrined in our democracy.

"Biko challenged us to negate the inhumane treatment of those that were regarded as not belonging but before that he was challenging us to be careful about how we classify people.

"The responsibility you carry is exponential. What a government we would have if we would realise that we carry more responsibility than rights," says Gigaba.

ALSO SEE: DHA clamps down on 'lack of supervision' at SA's busiest port of entry

Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan continued with the theme of leadership at the meeting, highlighting the work of those who put in extra hours for no extra pay.

"Good leaders know their craft. Leadership is a science but there is also an art to it. Your heart has to be in it."

"Minister Gigaba nurtures the people he works with. He is never short of a good word for excellent work," says Chohan.

WATCH: Gigaba's Candy Crush comes back to haunt him as DHA official surfs web while processing passports

Financial loss at Cape Town Airport due to slow passport control

Earlier this month, at a Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, the Cape Town International Airport revealed that it was losing around R25 million a year in duty-free shopping because of long queues at Home Affair's passport control, where the number of officials has decreased from 82 to 68, despite the exponential growth that the airport has experienced. 

According to an TR Business interview with DA Member Beverley Schäfer, the long time spent at passport control means that passengers have less time to spend money at the duty-free shops, which in turn creates a space of employment at the airport.

Traveller24 posed questions to the DHA about the decrease in the number of officials at the airport and the resulting impact, in light of its 'war on queues' but has yet to receive a response.   

It is estimated that an arriving international traveller will spend almost half an hour getting through passport control on average, while it will take about 12 minutes for an outbound traveller to pass through - both times far exceeding the international best practice average.

SEE: 40m+ passengers in 2017 and counting, as SA's airports push on with new routes

This year alone, Cape Town has seen a 10% increase between January and March, with a 16% growth in 2017. Since the inception of Wesgro's Air Access Programme in 2015, it has gained 13 new routes, and 14 route expansions, increasing capacity to Cape Town by more than 1.5 million seats in both directions.

The Department of Home Affairs also launched an Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) earlier this year to smooth out their processes. ABIS is an identification and security solution powered by sustainable technology and will offer a single view of citizens across their life cycle and their status changes at various stages.

ALSO SEE: Home Affairs launches new automated biometric ID system