The City of Cape Town was formally engaging with the National Department of Tourism to gain clarity on the deployment of its tourism safety monitors in Cape Town and other travel hubs across the country, said James Vos, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.
This comes after Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, announced earlier this year that R174.5 million (€8.74m) had been budgeted to train and employ over 2 200 youths as tourism monitors in this financial year.
Of these, 250 were to be deployed to tourist hotspots in the Western Cape. At the time and in subsequent statements, De Lille said the monitors would be deployed in early November.
However, the Department now says the monitors will only be ready to hit the streets by December 15, when the visitor season is well under way. Vos said it was also unclear if the Department would meet this new December target date due to challenges in sourcing and hiring a service provider to oversee the programme.
“Given recent crime incidents affecting tourists as well as the expected influx of domestic and international travellers over the summer months, we have a duty to pull out all the stops to ensure the safety of visitors and locals,” said Vos.
“Thankfully, the City of Cape Town is ready and will deploy its largest-ever festive tourism safety operation ahead of expected record-breaking visitor numbers to the Mother City this summer. This includes a special deployment of Tourism Unit personnel to Table Mountain National Park and the CBD.”
According to Vos, over 4 000 uniformed City enforcement and emergency personnel will be available in shifts. In addition to the standard crime prevention activities, the City is deploying 80 personnel for dedicated safety, patrolling tourism routes at Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain trails, Bo-Kaap, the Waterfront, and the CBD.
The City’s official destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Tourism (CTT), also has a host of safety mechanisms including:
- TravelWise: This platform includes up-to-date safety information, practical tips and emergency contact numbers.
- The Namola App: a free safety response app that pinpoints your location, and connects you to an emergency operator fast and efficiently.
- The Band-Aid Programme: help for those in distress, including lost travel documents, counselling, and emergency accommodation, laying a charge at SAPS, and contacting banks in the event of bank card fraud. The 24/7 Band-Aid contact number is 021 487 6552.
- Visitors can also speak to CTT staff located at Cape Town International Airport, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and City Hall.
“Ensuring the well-being of all those who are out and about and enjoying the wonderful attractions of Cape Town and South Africa is in our collective best interest. My team and I stand ready to work with the National Department of Tourism and others to make sure that people create only happy memories when experiencing our country,” reiterated Vos.