(Posted 07th October 2022)
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has expressed outrage following the attack on four German tourists on Monday 3 October 2022 while making their way to a lodge near Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga during which one of the tourists was fatally shot.
Minister Sisulu met with the family members this morning, before their departure to Germany to express her deepest condolences.
“I would like to again convey my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the tourist who was killed in this incident. I also call on law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to book.”
The German tourists arrived in the country on 20th of September 2022, landing at Cape Town International Airport. They stayed in Cape Town for 4 nights and 5 days, then proceeded to Durban and stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights. From Durban, they travelled to Drakensberg and stayed there for 2 nights, and then on Monday, 03rd of October 2022, drove over 600km to Mpumalanga.
During their interaction with the Minister, while still traumatised, the tourists indicated that this was an isolated incident that could have happened to anyone and that all countries are dealing with some level of criminality. The tourists said they love South Africa and the beauty of the country.
“The tourism industry has rallied around the family to give the assurance that all measures are being taken to prevent such an incident from happening again. The Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism has also issued a R50 000.00 reward to anyone who may come up with information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators” said Sisulu
The Minister further assured the tourists that the Tourism Department will continue its efforts within Government to ensure tourist safety in the area.
“The attack of tourists is not a daily occurrence in the country and South Africa is a safe destination,” Sisulu added.
Minister Sisulu views tourism as a happiness industry which is requires the safety and security of all tourists, local and international.
“Tourism is at the heart of our economic growth strategy contributing 3,7% to South Africa’s GDP, more than agriculture, utilities and construction. The sector has capacity to handle over 14.80 million visitors by 2019 estimates. Tourism safety has been consistently identified across a number of studies, media and crime reports as a challenge which threatens tourism growth and therefore, foreign direct investment, visitor spend and employment.”
She said incidents of crime directed at tourists and tourism products tarnish South Africa’s reputation and create a negative perception of our country and destination and in turn, impact on both the visitor experience and visitor numbers.
“It is not correct that South Africans are predisposed to crime. We are a peace-loving nation that ended one of the worst crimes in modern-day humanity, the apartheid system peacefully,” Sisulu concluded.