Attention broadcasters: English audio clip from MPP Cayla Murray attached.
I welcome the contribution of the City of Cape Town’s Tourism Safety Law Enforcement Unit to a successful and safe summer tourism season. This is evidenced by a total of 4 264 total safety interventions conducted by this unit, over and above regular policing and law enforcement activity.
The unit was launched on the 29th of November last year, and has been active at the Table Mountain Cableway, Lion’s Head, the Waterfront, Bo-Kaap, Long Street and the Grand Parade. Interventions conducted by the unit in December included 1 514 patrols, 488 tourists assisted with safety and general queries, responses to 497 complaints, handing out fines where City by-laws were broken, as well as assisting in 3 arrests.
A parliamentary reply received from the Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities and Tourism, revealed that the officers in this unit have also received training on tourism safety, visitor in distress protocols and tourism-related visitor information skills. The officers are not just responding to criminal activity but also providing much needed services and information sharing as it relates to safety tips at key tourism hotspots which prevents incidents from occurring.
In the 2020/21 financial year, the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) funded the start-up costs related to the establishment of the Tourism Safety Law Enforcement Unit. The funding for the Unit in the 2022/23 financial year is provided by the Provincial Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town.
The unit is playing a critical role in supporting the tourism industry which is a major driver of job creation in our province. This is because the high number of patrols contributed significantly to a safer and more tourist-friendly environment, which once again attests to the power of greater law enforcement visibility as a deterrent to crime – something Police Minister Bheki Cele should take note of.
The Western Cape is once again taking its place as a must-see destination following years of hard lockdowns and hardship for the tourism industry. The DA-run City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government is ensuring that every tourist has a good experience that they can share with the world, through social media or any other means, increasing the profile of our province even more.