Nothing is anything without an acronym so here’s to Home Affairs’ EMCS …. aka Enhanced Movement Control System ie the new procedures & systems for immigration. While concessions to South Africa’s immigration regulations were approved by Cabinet, it will take time for the new regulations to filter down to embassies in foreign countries and to ports of entry. Liz at Lancaster has guests from India trying to get their visas plus others from Africa who have all had to put their travel plans on hold because of delays in visa applications. Similarly immigration officials at South Africa’s airports have not yet begun implementing the changes as staff are still being trained in the capturing of biometric data. Lanseria International Airport, OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport have been selected to serve as pilot sites to conduct testing on the new functionality of capturing biometrics. Officials at OR Tambo apparently began training on capturing biometric data on November 4 and while the pilot project was due to begin at Lanseria on November 2, when contacted by Tourism Update, officials at the airport weren’t aware if it had, in fact, begun. The pilot project is also due to begin on November 12 at King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
The DHA intends to have biometric capability permanently enabled on all arrival and transit counters from November 25. However, during the initial period, only selected travellers will be biometrically captured until the system has proved to be stable.