The Portfolio Committee on Tourism condemns the recent criminal attacks on tourists, in particular the death this past Saturday of a tourist who was hiking near Chapmans Peak in Cape Town. This follows the recent attack on tourists at the Mount Nelson Hotel.
The Chapmans Peak incident involved a Ukrainian citizen who was attacked, robbed and murdered by three people whilst hiking in the Table Mountain National Park. One of the suspects has been apprehended. We applaud the neighbourhood watch for apprehending the suspect and call on the police and other law enforcement agencies to act swiftly in apprehending the other two, who are still at large.
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism sends their condolences to the family of the deceased tourist and the people of Ukraine, and vows to do all in its power to coordinate activities to ensure that such heinous crimes against tourists are not repeated.
We commend the South African National Parks for deploying 55 park rangers to patrol the Table Mountain National Park range and we call for a coordinated approach for visible patrolling in the parks between the South African Police Service(SAPS) and South African National Parks.
We have noted from our interaction with inbound tour operators and South African Tourism, which is our marketing entity, that perceptions about crime in South Africa are negatively impacting on tourism. This in turn as a negative impact on the socio-economic benefits of the sector, particularly tourism’s contribution to gross domestic product, job creation and ultimately poverty alleviation.
As a new approach to oversight, the committee has adopted a triple RRR (Rebranding, Repositioning and Renewal) approach. In implementing this approach, the portfolio committee is planning to convene a joint oversight meeting with key stakeholders including SAPS, the provincial Commissioners of Police, national and provincial tourism authorities and major tourism attraction entities and private sector represented by the Tourism Business Council of SA to discuss the way forward.