South African aviation authorities say twelve out of every 20 000 bags
are tampered with at South Africa’s airports every day. Pilferage from baggage at airports has been blamed on casual labourers who often sell them off in their “communities”.
Reports today say the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) head
of security, Jason Tshabalala, told Parliament’s portfolio committee
on transport this morning that baggage pilferage at South African
airports was well below the world benchmark.
“The world benchmark for baggage pilferage is one bag per 1 000 per
day, screened and handled by ground handling companies,” he is quoted
as telling Parliament on the state of readiness of airports for the
2010 World Cup.
Tshabalala said the target was to reduce pilferage to eight bags per
1 000 per day by 2010. He said that in most cases of theft out of luggage during international travel it has been found that the bag had already been
tampered with by the time it was registered on its system.
Many people who had experienced theft out of their luggage don’t bother to complain. “The bulk of people could be so gatvol [fed-up or irritated] that they don’t bother to make a report,” he said.
Investigations had shown that most goods that were stolen out of luggage were often taken back to “communities” and sold.
Pilferage from baggage at South Africa’s airports has become a very serious problem and airport authorities blame it on casual labourers employed by baggage handling companies at airports.