Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s Directorate for Economic Growth has initiated discussions with the Department of Tourism following its announcement that it will be delaying the launch of its tourism safety monitors.
Tourism Safety monitors form part of an initiative announced by Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille in August, following the inception of the National Tourism Safety Strategy by the Department’s Tourism Safety Forum also initiated earlier this year.
The implementation of the Tourism Monitors Programme (TMP) forms part of the National Tourism Safety Strategy’s measures.
According to the City of Cape Town, following the announcements of the strategies Minister De Lille said that the monitors would be deployed in early November.
Mayco member for Economic Growth James Vos said: “Minister Patricia de Lille announced in August that R174,5 million had been budgeted to train and employ over 2 200 youths as tourism monitors in this financial year. Of this, 250 were to be deployed to tourist hotspots in the Western Cape.”
“However, the Department now says the monitors will only be ready to hit the streets by December 15, when the visitor season is already well underway. It is also unclear if the Department will meet this new December target date due to challenges in sourcing and hiring a service provider to oversee the programme.”
Vos said that given recent crime incidents affecting tourists as well as the expected influx of domestic and international travellers over the summer months, government departments had to ensure the safety of visitors and locals.
Just last week, global tech giant Google announced that it had begun removing a route that has led many unsuspecting travellers into Nyanga from its Google Maps navigation system.
Google’s revelation came after yet another tourist, Walter Fischel, an American citizen, was shot in the face and robbed in Nyanga while driving from Cape Town International Airport.
On Friday yet another international visitor was attacked and robbed in Cape Town. According to RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town, runner Tom Evans was training along Table Mountain for the upcoming race.
Vos said: “Given recent crime incidents affecting tourists as well as the expected influx of domestic and international travellers over the summer months, we must pull out all the stops to ensure the safety of visitors and locals.”
In response to the City’s call for clarity on the deployment of tourism safety monitors, Tourism Department spokesperson Zara Nicholson said that the department had a problem with the tender of which the Minister has no control.
Nicholson said the Department was finalizing the process, and we expect the deployment of the tourism monitors by mid-December.