A zambian newspaper had a report about a complaint in an airport parking garage at Tambo International airport in South Africa. ‘Airport free-for-all for thieves’
He just wanted to go away for the weekend, so Steve Lawrence thought it would be safe to park his car at the long-term parking bay at OR Tambo International Airport.
But when he returned he found the spare wheel on his Isuzu KB double cab had been stolen, and extensive damage was done to the lock and cabling beneath the vehicle.
Lawrence has been quoted between R3 000 and R4 000 to fix his Isuzu and he wants to know why a car he paid to be parked in a secure parking bay was damaged in such a way.
“I am now of the opinion that the airport has become a free-for-all for thieves who work hand-in-hand with security,” said the journalist.
“Not only do I have to undergo the inconvenience of having to replace the wheel and lock – for which I hold the Airports Company liable – but my confidence in leaving my vehicle at the airport has been dealt a serious blow.
“I had to pay a substantial amount to park at the airport, only to have my vehicle vandalised.”
The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) insisted, however, that their long-term parking bays were very safe, although they would not say if there were any other incidents at the airport similar to that which happened to Lawrence.
“The security measures currently instituted at OR Tambo International’s parking facilities include regular patrols, a permanent deployment of security, and license plate recognition.
“Parking at the airport is, therefore, reasonably safe and secure,” said spokesperson Tasniem Patel. “Despite our best efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for our visitors and their property, the airport is a public area which, like other public areas, is susceptible to illegal activities,” she said.
Acsa recommended that Lawrence open a criminal case with the police and is offering him a refund of his parking charges. Lawrence, however, isn’t impressed with this response as he still has a huge bill to pay to repair his vehicle.
“This is unacceptable,” he said. “I have a huge bill and all I can do is warn other people out there not to park at the airport, or they will be robbed blind. What I want to know is: if they can’t fix thievery now, what will happen in 2010?”