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ACSA Responds To Claims About INAD Facility At OR Tambo

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has expressed its concern over media reports and videos published on social media about the treatment of foreign travellers denied entry to South Africa earlier this week and placed in the INAD (“inadmissible”) facility at O. R. Tambo International Airport.

According to ACSA the individuals being held at the INAD facility were treated in accordance with human rights standards, in spite of several of them defying the law that applies to people detained for immigration reasons.

“Airports Company South Africa respects the human rights of all people including those who have been ordered by Immigration Services officials to be detained pending repatriation,” the body said in a statement.

INAD reception for check-in and out

INAD reception for check-in and out

Facilities Well Maintained

ACSA noted that O.R. Tambo International Airport, solely as the infrastructure provider of the INAD facilities to airlines, ensures that the facility is well maintained and that the detained travellers’ security, health and safety are not compromised.

The body added that senior management of the airport regularly inspects the facility to ensure that it meets acceptable standards for human occupancy. “The claims made about the quality and state of the INAD facility are false.”

“Photographs taken immediately after the first claims were made show that this detention facility conforms to global standards and requirements. It is well maintained and professionally run. However, it remains a detention facility rather than a hotel.”

INAD Family room

INAD Family room

Decisions To Deny Entry

The INAD facility is currently empty. Enquiries about how the individual cases were resolved should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs as the entity of state responsible for immigration control, as well as to the airline on which the passenger travelled to South Africa.

Airports Company South Africa wishes to emphasise that the decision to deny entry and detain an individual is made by officials of Immigration Services not the management of the airport. Once entry has been denied, the process is as follows:

  • The airline is notified and both an Immigration Officer and an airline representative accompany the passenger to the INAD facility;
  • The airline takes responsibility and books the passenger into the INAD facility and carries the associated costs; and
  • Once the airline is in a position to repatriate the passenger, Immigration Services is notified, and the passenger is processed to board the aircraft back to the country of origin.
INAD Communal kitchen

INAD Communal kitchen

Responsibilities 

The passenger remains the responsibility of the airline at all times. It is always the responsibility of the airline to ensure that it does not board passengers who are not entitled to be in South Africa. It is the responsibility of the airline to remain abreast of the latest requirements of the government of South Africa.

“It is the responsibility of individual travellers to ensure that they have verified with the airline that they can travel to South Africa before they board a flight. Travellers should not rely on social media when establishing whether they will be permitted to enter South Africa.

“It was made clear through Ministerial briefings early in the week that all visas were cancelled, regardless of country or point of origin with no exceptions or special circumstances. It was the responsibility of the airlines to act swiftly on this announcement. 

It is most regrettable that some passengers arrived in South Africa who were not entitled to travel here,” ACSA explained.

However, Airports Company South Africa emphasises that detained passengers are treated in accordance with the law and that the INAD facility is professionally run and well maintained.

 

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