Crime hurts S. Africa’s tourism ambition: ANC


CAPE TOWN, Sept. 29 — South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday voiced “grave disappointment and outrage” over the recent attack on a group of 36 Dutch tourists, saying such barbaric acts hinder efforts to grow tourism.

 

“We call on law enforcement agencies to swiftly act and apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime. We equally call on all South Africans to be vigilant and work closely with law enforcement agencies to root out crime in our communities,” the party said in a statement marking the World Tourism Day.On Sunday, a group of 36 Dutch tourists were robbed at gun point in Johannesburg after departing from the O.R. Tambo International Airport.They were allegedly stopped by a police marked vehicle with one man dressed in police uniform and five others in civilian clothing.One of the tourists was injured and sent to hospital.

 

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has called the robbery “an attack on the tourism industry and the economy”.The tourists cut short their 20-day stay and left South Africa on Tuesday.This attack has fueled concern over rampant crimes in the country that depends heavily on tourism.It is unclear about to what extent tourism would be affected by the robbery. But a local tour guide, who refused to be named, told Xinhua that fewer and fewer tourists from China come to South Africa these days, deterred by the rampant crimes.”This time last year, we had some tourists from China, but now it’s abnormally quiet. Many people dare not come to South Africa and some even have cancelled their visit,” he said.

 

The ANC has pledged to work harder to promote tourism in the country as part of a comprehensive strategy to create job, alleviate poverty and eliminate inequality.Promotion of tourism, to and within South Africa, remains top priority for the ANC-led government as it contributes positively to the creation of sustainable livelihoods, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said. – XINHUA