EASTERN LONDON – East Norwegian head of transport Eirini Bolveni called for her moratorium on the degradation of Mathatha airport as "smoke".
In January, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) downgraded the facility from level four to the third level due to the lack of security and technological upgrades that deviate from civil aviation regulations.
The degradation led to the suspension of large commercial aircraft – SA Airlink and SA Express – which fly flights between Johannesburg and Mathias. The airport returned to the fourth level by mid-February.
In the state of the provincial administration (Sopa) last week, Cape Verde Prime Minister Phumulo Masualle said there would be "consequences" for those who were found to be responsible for the degradation.
Speaking to the African news agency (ANA) on Friday, Mpolweni said he was aware of the suspension but had not "officially updated".
ANA understands that the news was broadcast through her colleagues.
"I have classified the issues of Mthatha airport and returns to Category 4 [February 15]. is now restarted. In fact, I built this airport when I reached this portfolio in 2014, after several attempts to rebuild it, "Mpolweni said.
He said he had already suspended officials who were "responsible for degradation".
Mr Mpolweni said there was an attempt to "capture" the provincial transport department and accused the economic MEC Oscar Mabuyane of leading the charge.
"There have been efforts by Mabuyane to take over the transport department," he said.
He also questioned the appointment of Treasury Deputy Chief Executive, Joe Mhlomi, to act in place.
"Why do not they nominate an intern?" Why do they insist on bringing Mhlomi to the transfer? "This is not the first time she has replaced me. I am embarrassed by his appointment because he does not belong to the transport department, "said Mpolweni.
She said her lawyers would be dealing with the suspension.
According to the representative of the Cape Verdean Government Sonwabo Mbananga:[The suspension] is in line with the management of the consequences the prime minister has stated in this case. The warning suspension is to respect the required procedures and allow space for research. "
African News Agency (ANA)