14 December 2012

South Africa: Statement By Western Cape MEC of Tourism Alan Winde - 'Have Fun, but Be Safe and Responsible'

press release

Over this summer season, we would like to welcome all visitors to the Western Cape. The enjoyment and wellbeing of our guests, and locals alike, is of paramount importance to us. We encourage all visitors to have fun while in the Western Cape, but also do so safely and responsibly.

This year our Summer Campaign, "Adventurously Yours, Naturally Ours", encourages visitors to our Province to explore the many adventure and nature activities that the we have to offer.

The range of activities on offer in the Western is available on our Destination Marketing Agency's website - http://tourismcapetown.co.za/destination-marketing.

In ensuring that tourists can fully enjoy all that the Western Cape has to offer and do so safely, we have implemented a comprehensive Tourism Safety and Support Programme with links to the South African Police Services, international consulates and local tourism industry stakeholders that offers support to tourists that have been affected by injury or crime.

We are doing all that we can to keep our tourists safe. To make the Western Cape an even better tourist destination, visitors and locals of the Western Cape must also take responsibility for their safety.

In all countries, there are a few basic precautions that tourists should take to ensure that their stay is as safe as possible. This summer season, I would like to urge holiday-makers to follow these practical safety tips:

Keeping Safe in the Street:

  • Plan your route beforehand by making use of a map or by getting clear directions.
  • Only carry the amount of money you will need and be alert at any ATM terminals.
  • Avoid walking alone or in quiet streets in areas you are unfamiliar with, particularly at night.
  • Always remain vigilan

Public Transport:

Plan your journey. This includes the modes of transport you intend on using. Familiarise yourself with public transport routes and operating times.

  • Ask for directions before you set out on your journey.
  • Ensure that you know the distance, direction and time it takes to get to your final destination.
  • Be alert at all times while travelling on public transport. Keep valuable items out of sight.
  • Use only recommended and reputable private transport services.
  • Be particularly alert at any transport interchanges.
  • Sightseeing, concerts and other major events:
  • Familiarise yourself with emergency measures, such as your nearest exit sign, fire extinguishers and stairs in case of fire emergencies.
  • Take care of your valuables.
  • Plan travel arrangements, particularly when travelling after hours.
  • Deal only with authorised agents when you exchange money.
  • On the Road:
  • Familiarise yourself with the traffic rules of the Western Cape.
  • Plan your route and consider fuel consumption in advance.
  • Keep car doors locked and windows closed at all times.
  • Lock valuable items in the boot/trunk.
  • Never pick up strangers.
  • Stop only at designated viewing or picnic sites.
  • Check that your car is in a roadworthy condition before going on long road trips.
  • Don't use your cellphone when driving. Your calls and messages can be returned once you have arrived safely at your destination.
  • Most importantly, never drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other narcotics drastically reduces driving ability and poses a threat to yourself, other motorists, as well as pedestrians.
  • Outdoors:
  • Plan your routes and activities for the day. Obtain information about the outdoor area you will be visiting, including information on wild animals (if any) which may be in the area. Always inform a family member or friend of where you will be going, as well as your expected time of return.
  • Check weather conditions.
  • When visiting the beach, get information on the tide times and check the beach for warning flags.
  • When going on hikes, carry protective clothing, wear suitable shoes, make use of maps and carry water. If possible, take a compact hiking first aid kit for minor injuries.
  • This advice applies to travellers going to any country in the world as they are basic precautionary measures.
  • In the unfortunate and unlikely event that a tourist is the target of crime, he or she should call the police immediately on 10111.
  • In addition, tourists should take note of the following numbers, which are useful in a range of situations:

Ambulance: 10 177

Emergencies from a mobile phone: 112

City of Cape Town General Emergency: 107

Western Cape Government Hotline: 0860 142 142

Fire Department: Please see your district municipality for emergency contact numbers (http://goo.gl/50UWe)

Electricity: 0860 103 089

Water: 0860 103 054

Sea Rescue: 021 449 3500

Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900

Child Emergency: 0800 123 321

Disaster Management: 080 911 4357

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