Ryanair language quiz: The root cause is State’s failure to control fraudulent passports
by Manny de Freitas MP – DA Shadow Minister of Tourism
The DA has received a number of queries about United Kingdom (UK) low-cost airline, Ryanair’s decision to quiz South African passport holders in Afrikaans before allowing them to board their aircraft.
The DA strongly condemns Ryanair’s bizarre approach. It is ridiculous to assess a South African’s citizenship by his or her ability to speak Afrikaans. A person’s ability to speak and understand a specific language is not a criterion for citizenship.
Companies like Ryanair are apparently resorting to these measures because of the significant amount of fraudulent South African passports that transit through UK borders. The root of the problem is therefore the South African government which clearly does not have stringent enough processes to ensure the integrity of South African passports.
This is yet another example of the South African State which is failing its citizens day by day.
As a result, law-abiding South African tourists entering the UK are being lumped in the same boat as those who have fraudulent passports. Tourists who have contacted the DA describes their embarrassment as the South African government is viewed by Ryanair as an ineffectual government that cannot protect its own passports and by implication its own citizens.
Immediate action by the government is required to curb fraudulent passports, which is why the DA will write to Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to inquire about his department’s plans in this regard.