Safe tourism campaign launched

The safety monitors, who are part of a national safety awareness campaign to protect tourists on Table Mountain..

A man and a woman parked in a secluded area at Signal Hill were hijacked early last Friday morning.

Cape Town Central police station’s spokesman, Captain Ezra October, said the incident happened between 4am and 5am on Friday August 9.

The couple had been approached by two men who arrived on foot who pepper sprayed them before fleeing with the car.

“The complainant said he ran after the car and noticed another VW Polo driving off following their stolen car. sNo weapons were used and inside the car were wallets, two cellphones, IDs and car documents,” said Captain October.

He urged residents to not park in secluded areas, especially during the night or early mornings.

This incident happened a day after the national Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane launched a National Tourism Safety Awareness campaign at Table Mountain.

The campaign is an initiative by the Department of Tourism and South African National Parks (SANParks), the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry, SAPS and the business sector.

Ms Kubayi-Ngubane said they were responding to incidents which had happened in the past few weeks across the Table Mountain region. She said this was also part of job creation as they are deploying mostly young people who were unemployed.

“These safety monitors will be assisting us to monitor where our tourists are and report quite promptly if there’s anything suspicious so that the police can react quickly,” she said.

She added that they had looked at the model used in the Kruger National Parks by SANParks in responding when they were facing the challenge of rhino-poaching.

She said they had deployed drones, rangers and cameras to be able to respond to the challenge.

Ms Kubayi Ngubane said in December they would launch a safety app for tourists.

“People visit you in your country, the least you can do is to be hospitable. We hosted the World Cup and everyone who was here remarked about the great nation that we are. We’ve now resorted to a new level of ill-treating tourists.

“I’m excited about this campaign because now I can be able to show our tourists we are doing something about their concerns,” she said.

The City’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, James Vos, welcomed the deployment of the monitors, saying that Table Mountain was one of several key tourism and recreational attractions in Cape Town but sadly criminal elements had infiltrated this space, which had led to unfortunate experiences and the loss of life.

“The safety of our residents and tourists is of paramount importance. Table Mountain is a leading tourist attraction on the African continent with local and global significance, and we need to make sure that we protect and promote our tourism sector. It is the backbone of our economy and job creation, with almost 300 000 Capetonians employed in this sector,” he said.