Retail revenue worth millions of rands is lost at the Cape Town International Airport because of slow processing.
At the Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture it was revealed that the airport loses R25 million in duty-free shopping because international travellers are spending almost two hours moving through the Home Affairs passport control.
According to CTIA, the amount of immigration officers available for duty has dropped from 82 to 68 even though there have been more than 750 000 flights that are inbound for the airport since 2015.
Wesgro disclosed that CTIA has experienced a 20% increase in international terminal passengers, taking over from the world average of 8%.
MP Beverley Schäfer, the DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture said that the average waiting time for inbound international passengers at passport control at the airport is currently 27 minutes and 38. That number is much higher than the international best practice average of 10 minutes.
The waiting time for departing international passengers at passport control is 12 minutes and 6 seconds. That is more than twice the international best practice average of 5 minutes.
At the moment, during peak hours only five counters are opened by the DHA out of the 18 that are available to process.
Plans to rename the CTIA are underway, however, a lot of people are not happy about it. Four names are being considered as proposals for the airport’s new name including Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela or Robert Sobukwe.
This past week a public participation meeting regarding the renaming of the airport was disrupted when members of the Khoisan community started arguing with people from the EFF who want the airport to be named after the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.