South Africa is about to upgrade its border-gate control system to save incoming and outgoing South African citizens time. A joint venture between the Airports Company South Africa and Department of Home Affairs will be implemented in March that will make use of a biometric system that scans passengers’ fingerprints to verify their identity.
The automatic control system will go live at Cape Town International Airport in March next year and will executed at OR Tambo International and King Shaka International Airport at a later stage. The new automatic border-control system will cost Airports Company South Africa R20 million to implement..
The system will allow passengers to scan their own passports at the electric gates, instead of waiting for passports to be checked by an immigration officer. The Department of Home Affairs will develop a programme for international travellers called the Trusted Traveller, that will involve ACSA and international government agencies, to ensure smooth immigration processes.
ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa) Chief Operating Oficer, Fundi Sithebe says, “until the South African e-passports are finalised in June and July 2019, passengers will use their existing SA passports and undergo fingerprint scans when passing through the e-gates.”