In response to perceived government inaction in tourism management, South Africa’s private sector is assuming a leadership role. Notably, GPS navigation applications such as Google Maps and Waze have decided to designate routes to Nyanga and Borcherds Quarry as “high-risk routes” or “crime hotspots.”
This proactive measure aims to prevent tourists from unintentionally traveling through these areas, prioritizing their safety and well-being.
According to da.org.za, this serves as a tangible illustration of the government’s apparent failure to address crime adequately, provide essential resources, and enforce policing measures, potentially resulting in adverse economic impacts on tourism.
This decision by international companies follows an unfortunate incident where an unsuspecting American tourist was shot and robbed in Nyanga while driving from Cape Town International Airport last week. Ironically, the actions of these companies contribute more to public safety and security for tourism than the South African Police Service (SAPS) and its political head, Bheki Cele. The decision, made in consultation with the City of Cape Town, was prompted by reports of attacks on tourists.
Government mismanagement, corruption, and a lack of leadership and development within the travel and tourism sector are significant factors discouraging tourists from visiting the country. Despite these challenges, the tourism sector is gradually growing, thanks to the efforts of the private sector. Unfortunately, beyond the Western Cape, little progress is being made to advance and promote tourism, whether it be domestic or international.
In response to these concerns, I plan to write to Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille, seeking information on her department’s plans to address this issue and coordinate with other relevant departments. Additionally, I will submit questions for an official reply from the Minister to gain further insight into how the government intends to tackle this matter.