Home affairs blames biometrics glitch for airport chaos

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has blamed a glitch on its biometrics system for the delays passengers experienced at OR Tambo International Airport.

The DHA introduced the biometrics system on Friday last week at ORT Airport – Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, facilitating approximately 19 million passengers a year – in a bid to bolster SA’s national security.
However, since the commencement of the process, travellers and flights have been delayed as the department faced operational difficulties.

Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba yesterday explained the glitch resulted in South African travellers’ biometrics details – 10 fingerprints and a photo – also getting captured at the airport regardless of the fact that the DHA already has those details in the national population registrar (NPR).
According to Gigaba, the problem has been fixed, meaning South African travellers will not need to go through the biometrics process.