Bakkie to the future: it’s been 15 years so please collect your ...

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Bakkie to the future: it’s been 15 years so please collect your car

FREE TO READ | A double-cab abandoned at OR Tambo Airport for more than a decade is one of 70 cars left to rot in the parkade

Senior reporter
This car has been abandoned at King Shaka International Airport since 2011.
A vey long trip? This car has been abandoned at King Shaka International Airport since 2011.
Image: Matthew Savides

The parking lot at OR Tambo International Airport is forever bustling with people coming and going, scrambling to catch flights to far-off lands or returning home.

But for 15 years a forlorn and forgotten double cab bakkie – seemingly left behind – has not moved.

The car is one of 70 vehicles that have been abandoned at the airport, relegated to gather dust in its long-stay parking facility.

But now the Airports Company of South Africa is calling on the owners of these cars to claim them, if they can bear the mammoth parking fees to release them.

To liberate the bakkie, the owner will need to arrive at the airport with their dog-eared parking ticket and R85,000 to pay the tab, based on a fee of R45 per day.

“We have attempted on numerous occasions to contact the owners of these vehicles, to no avail,” OR Tambo Acsa spokesperson Samukelo Khambule told Times Select.

The airport is not able to dispose of or sell the vehicles as it does not have ownership rights or hold documentation on the vehicles.
OR Tambo Acsa spokeswoman Samukelo Khambule

Together the abandoned vehicles have racked up about R1m in unpaid parking fees, hence the appeal for people to collect their cars.

Khambule said that airport administrators had their hands tied when it came to moving or disposing of long-forgotten cars.

The airport is not able to dispose of or sell the vehicles as it does not have ownership rights or hold documentation on the vehicles,” she said.

“Airport management is currently considering legal options, which could involve approaching the relevant court for an order that entitles it to dispose of the vehicles,” Khambule added.

All costs associated with the parking and storage of these vehicles, she said, must be settled in full before the cars can be removed.

“Acsa will require a valid eNatis document, an affidavit from the SAPS, and a copy of a relevant driver’s licence to prove ownership,” she said.

The call follows a report in the Sunday Times that a senior civil servant with the department of arts and culture had amassed as much as R73,000 in parking fees for a car left at Sandton’s Gautrain station.

A grime-covered Audi A4 – registered to department chief director Charles Mabaso – has stood in the station’s underground parking for two years.

The paper’s attempts to contact Mabaso via text, WhatsApp, phone and e-mail were fruitless.

Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said that according to records the Audi has been parked there for two years. If a car owner parks but does not use the train service, he or she has to pay a parking fee of R100 a day. If the driver does use the train the fee is R23 a day, or nearly R17,000 for two years.

Times Select previously reported on a car abandoned at King Shaka International Airport since 2011.

Using a long stay rate of R80 per day, the Kia Carens will owe a parking fee of nearly R235,000.