2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


CRIMINALS ARE HIJACKING SA TOURISM

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MTUTUZELI MBADI, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM

During Tourism Month [September 2000], when Government aims to encourage tourism,  we, ironically, see it marred by criminal acts committed against [international] tourists.

This weekend an American honeymoon-couple discovered how dangerous a trip to the Kruger National Park (KNP) could be. Last month, a young female tourist was allegedly gang-raped at a backpackers' hostel in Johannesburg. Bomb attacks in the Mother City discourage even the locals, to venture outside.

We read in the newspaper that a "lack of manpower and a shortage of  vehicles" are hampering the SAPS patrolling of the KNP's gates, and police are "handing out pamphlets" in order to warn tourists against the possibility of attacks and not to stop at souvenir sellers next to the road.

Tourism has a huge potential to create much-needed jobs and stimulate enterprise development, Government must urgently look at ensuring the safety of tourists, through increased policing efforts and allocation of resources to them.

Government must address the dismal state of safety and security in our beautiful country. What is the use of spending thousands of rands advertising South Africa as a must-see tourist destination, when incidents like this weekend's "advertise" the contrary?

Enquiries:
  Prof. Mtutuzeli Mbadi, MP
  UDM Spokesperson for Environmental Affairs and Tourism

Cape Town
11 September 2000