It is shocking that the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has tried to downplay the attacks on and murders of tourists in South Africa as mere ‘isolated incidents’ and it is even more shocking that the Ministry of Tourism now has to make plans to combat it while combating crime is actually the police’s responsibility.
According to media reports, there have been 14 crime-related attacks since the beginning of this year just on Table Mountain alone. Over the last few years, there have been numerous incidents in which people were injured and even killed.
In the latest incident, a man from the Ukraine, Ivan Ivanov, was murdered last week while hiking at the popular East Fort above Chapman’s Peak.
The police must explain its inability to combat crime in general. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane confirmed that there is a crime-problem concerning tourists as she said that her Department is busy ‘finalising a strategy’ (EWN 5 Augustus 2019), which will hopefully be implemented in the coming week to ensure the safety of tourists.
It is irresponsible of the Minister and the government to downplay crime as mere isolated incidents while people are losing their lives.
In the Western Cape, the situation is so critical that the defence force has to help the police to combat crime in the Cape Flats and now the Minister of Tourism apparently has to combat crime in the country’s parks.
Crime is a very serious problem in South Africa. It must not be downplayed as isolated incidents that, according to the Minister, paint South Africa negatively in the eyes of the international community.