Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu condemns the alleged shooting at tourists and elephants on the Jozini Dam, which took place Wednesday.
The tourists – five Germans, two Americans, one Australian and four South Africans, who were staying at a private lodge in the Pongola Dam Reserve, were on an Elephant River Cruise when the incident took place. No one was injured in the incident.
Minister Sisulu described the attack as an attack on the country’s economy as tourism plays a major role in the Country’s GDP.
“Tourism creates thousands of jobs in the country and these attacks are a direct attack on our economy,” Sisulu said.
According to the owner of the lodge there were no injuries and although the tourists were traumatized by the incident. The tourists have since moved onto their next destination.
Tourism and wildlife authorities are working together with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to crack down on elephant poaching on the shores of Lake Jozini in northern KwaZulu Natal.
“South Africa and KZN is a safe destination for tourists and incidents like these, impact negatively on the reputation of our valuable tourism industry. We are working with law enforcement and other agencies to ensure the safety of tourists in the country,” Sisulu said.
KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesperson, Musa Mntambo said the rise in elephant poaching stemmed from community members’ anger over escalating incidents of human-wildlife conflict that led to the trampling of a resident in September 2022.
Land around the dam comprises a combination of provincial reserve areas managed by Ezemvelo Wildlife (including Pongola Nature Reserve) and private game reserves.
Issued by Ministry of Tourism
Steve Motale on 0837840719
MLO Mpumzi Zuzile on 0725509019 / 0609559035
Tourism House, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001