The plane took off from the airport east of Paris


South Africa has been ranked number one by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for safety systems in aviation across the African continent. Whereas, the country ranks number 18 in the world.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga revealed the rank and said the ICAO did not mention any significant safety and security concerns during safety and security audits.

According to the minister, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognized South Africa's safety system that meets ICAO's safety standards and recommended practices, making the country number one in Africa.

Furthermore, South Africa retains its Category 1 status with the standards of the United States International Oversight Safety Audit (IOSA) program while the Transport Security Administration granted South Africa's cargo security system permanent recognition after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) assessment.

"South Africa still holds the European Union (EU) recognition for the States cargo security system," Chikunga said, SA News reported. "South Africa is proud of the continued 0% fatal accident rate held in the commercial airlines sector for nearly four decades."

She added, "Our target is to maintain this record for decades to come. One of the current administration's strategic targets is to reduce accidents in the general aviation sector by 50%."

In the financial year 2022-2023, the number of accidents was reduced from 147 to 113, marking a decrease of 23% compared to the 2021-2022 financial year.

During the media briefing, the minister also disclosed that the Airports Company of South Africa Limited (ACSA) has allocated R21.7 billion for airport infrastructure development.

Chikunga highlighted that this allocation is the biggest capital investment program by ACSA since the 2010 World Cup. She added, "This will see our already world-class airports increasing the airport facilities to continue leading as Africa's best airports and increasing our position globally."

The allocation of funds will ensure that Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport (Gqeberha) and George Airport are expanded in capacity in the next two years.

"Furthermore, ACSA is set to embark on the development of a new cargo terminal, known as Mid-field Cargo, at O.R Tambo International Airport on a prioritized basis given the demand and later the development of a Mid-field Passenger Terminal," the minister said.