South Africa: Cameras, Drones, Tourist Monitors to Safeguard Table Mountain National Park

In the wake of several attacks in Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), the City of Cape Town and national tourism department have collaborated to increase security by employing more than 80 monitors.

On Thursday, they announced more security measures would come into effect toward the end of the year.

Criminal elements on Table Mountain, including the recent stabbing of Ukrainian tourist Ivan Ivanov, prompted Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane to reassure tourists they should not fear visiting South Africa, despite isolated incidents of crime.

On Thursday, Kubayi-Ngubane together with the City's economic opportunities and asset management directorate launched new security measures that would come into effect in October and December.

She said crime directed at tourists created a negative perception and reputation about a destination, which impacted on both the visitor experience and visitor numbers.

In a statement, the City revealed the new security measures would see the placement of 86 monitors within the TMNP, of which 60 are already on the ground. The remainder will be deployed by October.

The tourism department said the monitors were being placed at key sites with high volumes of tourists, or sites that have a high potential of personal risk to tourists.

The monitors' role is to raise awareness about safety and security, co-ordinate emergency and other relevant support, guide tourists on the safest routes and areas, and report any incidents of crime against tourists.

To assist them, cameras and drones would be installed and these would be operational by December, the City said.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the department was also developing a safety cellphone app to provide tourists with basic information, safety tips, and relevant contact details for those in distress.

It hopes to pilot the app by December.

"The safety of our residents and tourists is of paramount importance," said James Vos, the mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management.

"Table Mountain is a leading tourist attraction on the African continent with local and global significance, and we need to make sure that we protect and promote our tourism sector."

Vos added the City would do its best to ensure that tourists and locals alike felt safe "by working with tourism role players and relevant enforcement agencies".

Source: News24

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