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Govt working to ensure SA remains safe tourist destination - Kubayi-Ngubane

The minister was responding to the mugging and murder of a Ukrainian tourist on the mountain in Hout Bay last weekend.

FILE: Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Friday government was moving quickly to address issues of safety for visitors in the country.

Kubayi-Ngubane was responding to the mugging and murder of a Ukrainian tourist on the mountain in Hout Bay last weekend.

Ivan Ivanov's murder brought issues of mountain safety into sharp focus once more and the possibility of reputational damage for a key sector of the economy.

Tourism contributed billions to the national GDP every year and in the Western Cape especially, it was a major creator of jobs.

Some tour operators had reported the attack on Ivanov had already led to cancellations.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy said while the attack was an isolated incident, it could none the less harm the industry.

“The fact that some industry professionals have indicated that they have already received cancellations is concerning. But I think what we need to realise as well is that there are other operators who indicated this had no impact on their business,” he said.

“I think we always need to take a balanced view,” Duminy added.

At the same time, Kubayi-Ngubane said they were moving quickly to address issues of safety for visitors.

She said they were working on a number of interventions including coming up with a safety strategy.

“We are in partnership together with provincial and national government, and the South African Police Service in the strategy,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

The minister said they planned to finalise the strategy in the coming weeks.