It is with great shock and sadness that we have learnt about the British visitor who was unfortunately killed during a taxi protest in Nyanga, Cape Town, Western Cape.
I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the tourist who was killed in this incident. I plead with law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators of this violent crime as soon as possible.
I call on the Western Cape government, the City of Cape Town and the taxi association to urgently and peacefully resolve the dispute as soon as possible and to consider the broader and devastating impact of the taxi strike on the economy and the lives of local citizens and visitors in the City of Cape Town.
The official investigation is still underway, however, the tourist was said to be with two other family members in Cape Town when they took a wrong turn from Cape Town International Airport and got caught up in the protest. His vehicle was then allegedly approached by a number of suspects who shot and killed him.
It is really sad that a visitor has had such a devastating experience in our country. This criminal behaviour goes against the overall spirit and nature of South Africans who are generally warm and welcoming.
The safety of all of people and visitors to our country is our priority, and we are actively collaborating with authorities to ensure swift and calm resolution of all issues that have resulted in these protests. South Africa is dedicated to ensuring a secure experience for all who live and visit our country.
I have also noted the US and the UK's travel advisory due to Cape Town's protests.
I am aware, based on research, insights and interactions with various stakeholders that consumers cite safety as a huge concern when considering South Africa for their next holiday.
To address tourism safety concerns and incidents, I have, in collaboration with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Police, reviewed the county’s National Tourism Safety Strategy. This strategy includes a call to the tourism industry leaders as well as South Africa’s security cluster to collaborate and contribute to bolstering tourism safety and acting fast against acts of criminality that affect the sector’s potential.
The National Tourism Safety forum, made up of a range of stakeholders including the police, the National Department of Tourism, Tourism MECs and the private sector, met in May this year to discuss an action plan and will be meeting again in later this month to provide feedback on actions that have been taken to improve safety measures for local and international tourists.
South Africa was recently honoured with the prestigious title of "Best Country," while the city of Cape Town claimed the coveted title of "Best City in the World” as voted by readers of the UK’s The Telegraph newspaper. These exceptional accolades voted for by 27,000 passionate readers, are a testament to South Africa's undeniable allure.
South Africa, is a land rich with unmatched beauty, cultural heritage, and a wide variety of tourism experiences and attractions. This, and more, is what visitors from various parts of the world come to experience in our country. It is important that we make sure visitors to our country feel safe to enjoy our wide open spaces, warm people, and an array of tourism experiences and quality-assured establishments and facilities.
Issued by the Ministry of Tourism
Ministry Media Liaison Officer, Cell: +27 (0) 79 416 5996