The City of Tshwane says it is not planning to shut the Wonderboom Airport. The Civil Aviation Authority has downgraded its license to a lower category due to concerns over safety measures regarding the poor maintenance of the runway.

The airport currently provides minimal services including private chattered flights daily. It also runs a pilot academy with about 1 500 candidates studying in various disciplines of aviation.

The City spends about R50 million annually to keep the airport running.

The outgoing mayor of Tshwane Stevens Mokgalapa says the airport is not generating any revenue for the City.

“At the moment, the airport is just draining the coffers of the City without any revenue. So we instituted an appointment of transactional adviser which goes through the normal process of the MFMA. It’s a three year 24-month contract at a cost of about R22 million. All they do is normal transactional advisers, assessments, studies, management controls in the interim up until they hand over the site with recommendations to the City to say this is what will happen.”

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) in Tshwane has threatened to approach the Public Protector and the police to lay a charge against the City of Tshwane for its alleged mismanagement of the Wonderboom National Airport.

This comes after the city appointed a consulting company to oversee the operations of the airport. Earlier this week airport management took the council to court to challenge the appointment of the company without being consulted.

ANC Tshwane chairperson Kgosi Maepa says they intend to lay criminal charges.

“The corrupt DA administration has run down the international airport in the capital city of South Africa in just 36 months. The DA mayor and his MMC have both failed to manage it and destroyed everything that has been built over a period of time. We are talking to affected parties to determine if either criminal charges should be laid against the DA mayor and MMC’s for failure to do oversight. We also want to take the matter to the Public Protector,” says Maepa.