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Home Affairs to roll out biometric system at 6 ports of entry

Minister Malusi Gigaba said the system has improved security at SA's ports of entry.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba conducting a walk about the Randburg branch. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Home Affairs Department said that the biometric capturing system will now be rolled out at six of South Africa's busiest land ports of entry.

The system, which captures traveller's finger prints at South Africa's international airports, was introduced by the department in April last year.

Minister Malusi Gigaba this has improved security at South Africa's ports of entry and while the system has experienced some glitches, he was satisfied with the overall results.

"During the course of this financial year, we'll be rolling out the biometric capture system at Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek and Kopfontein," the minister said.

The system was met with some criticism from citizens and the tourism industry, who were concerned that it would discourage visitors from travelling to the country.

Gigaba said that in the space of three days last week, the OR Tambo International Airport had experienced flight delays due to glitches in the biometric system.

"Even as we introduced the systems, we did not have sufficient personnel."

He said South African travellers will no longer have to use the current biometric system.

"To be able to navigate and resolve that problem, we are in the process of linking the movement control system with the national population register."

Gigaba said the new changes would speed up the process for local travellers.

The minister said the biometric system was now working well and the flight delays have declined to zero.

Gigaba said the new changes will speed up the process for local travellers.

The minister said the biometric system is now working well and the flight delays have declined to zero.