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SA remains a preferred tourist destination, despite incidents: Tourism minister

05 August 2019 - 10:16 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says tourists' safety is a top priority for the government.
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says tourists' safety is a top priority for the government.
Image: ©David Ryznar

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has reassured tourists that it is safe to travel to SA and that their safety remains a top priority for the government.

This after the death of Russian tourist Ivan Ivanov, 44, who was robbed and fatally stabbed while hiking at East Fort in Cape Town on July 27. 

Two suspects linked to the murder appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"Despite the few isolated incidents which paint South Africa negatively, our country remains a preferred destination for weddings, honeymooners, lifestyle, music and cultural events, as well as the filming industry, with most of these drawing significant numbers of travellers," Kubayi-Ngubane said.

She said her department was busy with a safety strategy and that it was happy with actions taken by the police.

"In relation to incidents that have happened recently, we are happy that police have taken action to ensure that perpetrators are arrested within a reasonable time.

"The department is currently finalising the safety strategy that will be launched in a few weeks, as announced in the budget vote in June."

Kubayi-Ngubane called on communities to "isolate those who try to portray our country in a negative manner", adding that suspicious incidents should be reported immediately.

"As tourists come into the country, they contribute to our economy and job creation, hence we must, at all times, ensure they enjoy a typical proudly South African experience and feel welcomed on our shores," she said.