The ANC doesn’t care about tourism

Issued by Manny de Freitas MP – DA Shadow Minister of Tourism
14 Oct 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Manny de Freitas MP.

The DA has been alerted to delays in customs facing tourists who visit South Africa via OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA). Tourists from all tourism markets have had to wait for an average of at least 3 hours at ORTIA customs before being able to get to the public arrivals area due to the piloting of a new biometric system.

The Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS) which appears to be untested has effectively gone “live”. To take piloting of the systems live concurrently goes against pilot study principles which should be a mini-version of a full-scale study or a trial run done in preparation of the complete study.

The delays create a negative impression to those entering South Africa. In addition, it creates havoc for tour itineraries and programmes which are pre-planned, pre-booked and carefully timed so that tourists maximise their time in our country. Some tour groups have had to skip pre-booked and pre-paid activities due to these unreasonable delays at ORTIA.

This is yet another example of how government fails to understand that its inefficiency and unprofessionalism has a major impact on tourists and their experiences locally. In turn, tourists who return to their home country will relay their bad experiences about South Africa which in turn ultimately further impacts negatively on our tourism numbers.

I have submitted official questions to the Minister of Home Affairs about the BMCS and the piloting thereof. I have also discussed this matter with DA Home Affairs colleagues pertaining to this matter, as this situation can simply not continue in the way it is presently.