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Home > News > Durban airport – beware parking sharks! - 10 Oct 2017

Durban airport – beware parking sharks! - 10 Oct 2017

An incident involving a valet parking service at King Shaka International Airport in Durban has raised concern over the validity of these services and the risks involved, with Airports Company South Africa even considering legal action.

In September, fleet and asset tracking company, Tracking Africa, found a vehicle meant to be parked at the airport by a parking service moved to a residential home in Aster Terrace in Chelmsford Heights in Tongaat.

According to Jody Ashe of Tracking Africa, the company were called in after their client suspected their vehicle had been moved. “We found the vehicle was indeed not at the airport and a recovery team was sent to the site where they found another 30-odd vehicles parked. This was not a secure parking area,” he told eTNW.

“There was no electric fencing, CCTV or any other form of security."

When asked where the vehicle would be parked during the use of the service, the parking service said – as per the website – the vehicle would be parked in a secure parking facility off-site from the airport with electric fencing, CCTV cameras and armed guards.

On the valet service’s website, it advertises its services as being the “happy, safe convenient and hassle-free parking solution at King Shaka International Airport, including free car wash and vacuum”. The site also mentions that the parking site where vehicles are taken is secure and surfaced with tarmac, has CCTV, an armed response unit, electric fencing, night patrol and a gated entry. The car park and drivers are insured, according to the website.

“Our investigation found something very different to this. Not only was the car not parked in a secure location, but it had been driven at 125km per hour in an 80km zone,” said Jody.

Colin Naidoo, Acsa senior corporate affairs manager at King Shaka International Airport, told TAM this was not the first incident of its kind and several others had been brought to Acsa’s attention in recent months. He said they were aware that certain parking valet companies had been using the airport premises and name to promote their business and engage with airport users for parking services that they offer.

He said Acsa was currently collaborating with airport security and road traffic authorities to remove these illegal operators from the property. With Acsa not accrediting or associating with any remote parking and valet service operators, it is advised that anyone using the service ensures they understand the risks involved and are aware of where the vehicles are being taken to.

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