ACDP wants probe into new airport

THE African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has called on Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) to recoup its investment over a longer period than the envisioned "once-off three-to-five-year period".

THE African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has called on Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) to recoup its investment over a longer period than the envisioned "once-off three-to-five-year period".

Yesterday ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley questioned the motives behind the building of the world-class La Mercy-King Shaka international airport north of Durban, and the 133percent increase it might cause in airport taxes.

The airport, which cost more than R8billion, is in the final stages of construction.

The official opening of the airport is scheduled for March next year.

Dudley said the ACDP was concerned by reports that both Acsa and intended user-airlines saw no reason for the building of a new airport in Durban when the existing one could be upgraded for far less.

She said its construction would lead to increased airport taxes for travellers.

"Reports say Acsa did not want to build the new airport and that it was forced on them by the government.

"We question the wisdom of such a decision and call on the government to account for its actions," she said.

She said the ACDP wanted an investigation into the motives for the building of the new airport.

"Secondly, the probe must assess the most cost advantageous process for the consumer regarding Acsa's strategy to recoup costs, and thirdly to interrogate plans for the future of the existing airport."

Last month Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele and Acsa chief executive Monhla Hlahla said both airports would be operating for the 2010 World Cup.

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