“Right now, South Africa is presenting as an unsafe country for foreigners, particularly women, and horror stories are making headlines across the world. This is seriously hampering the tourism industry and investment. Mpumalanga is no exception.
Shortly after the robbery of a well-known hotel in Cape Town and a murder of a tourist at Table Mountain, an Israeli tourist was raped near Graskop. In context with what was happening in the rest of South-Africa, this story quickly made the international headlines and did serious damage to our local tourism industry. In the Lowveld, most of us are dependent on tourism for a livelihood, for jobs, and tourism establishments buy from other businesses again. It is a long value chain that needs to be protected. This is why we decided that some sort of intervention is required,” says Linda Grimbeek, COO of Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT).
KLCBT is offering a reward of up to R50 000 which will be paid for any information leading to the arrest and successful conviction of the rapist of the Israeli tourist. Anyone with information can contact their nearest police station or Brig Mahlangu at 082 779 8586. The identity of informants will be treated as confidential.
After meetings with various stakeholders, including the MEC of Community Safety, Security and Liaison as well as senior members of SAPS and Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, it was decided that this will be one of several initiatives to be rolled out that will aid to prevent crimes against tourists.
“KLCBT will soon launch an initiative where businesses will give support to SAPS to implement whatever means are necessary to increase visible policing, surveillance, better equipment and training. The initiative will collect funds, other donations and volunteers to assist with these functions in conjunction with SAPS.”, says KLCBT President Oupa Pilane, who is passionately lobbying for this initiative to get off the ground.
Source: Linda Grimbeek, KLCBT
(Edited for length and style – Alex Rose-Innes.)