WCG and City launch units aimed at tourism safety
Joint Media Release: Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town
Today, the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched their own Tourism Safety Unit with Chrysalis graduates, and the City of Cape Town (CCT) announced the expansion of their Tourism Safety Unit.
Tourism is a major contributor to both Cape Town and the Western Cape’s economy and provides significant job and skills development opportunities for residents.
The separate units will respectively be focused on ensuring that residents and visitors receive important safety information about tourist attractions and services available. The units will also coordinate the optimal emergency deployment of resources and technology, in tourism hotspots areas frequented by both local and international tourists.
‘The City’s Tourism Safety Unit is expanding as an integrated safety initiative aimed at ensuring our residents, local visitors and international tourists can enjoy the many wonderful sights and attractions in Cape Town without having to worry about petty crime. Visible policing is but the most effective crime prevention activity, and the members of this unit will join the thousands of additional law enforcement officers we have deployed across the whole of Cape Town this year. We are expecting a bumper tourism season and we are doing everything we can to make sure that thousands of locals and international guests, can safely enjoy the summer season in our beautiful City.’ said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
The Western Cape Government’s unit will comprise of 26 Chrysalis graduates, while the City of Cape Town’s Tourism Safety Unit will now have 28 Law Enforcement Officers.
The Western Cape Government’s Chrysalis graduates and the City’s unit of dedicated Law Enforcement Officers will help curb fraudsters at ATMs through strategic deployment.
Visible foot patrols will be conducted at the Table Mountain Cableway, Lion’s Head hiking trails, curb opportunistic pickpockets and petty criminals at car parks and other high-traffic tourism hotspots within the CBD.
If one becomes a victim of contact crime, one can provide a statement at one’s accommodation to City Tourism Unit officers, instead of at a SAPS station. Should trauma counselling be needed and if travel documentation such as passports are stolen, the process to acquire an emergency passport is activated through links with consulates.
‘The City unit has already achieved a considerable amount of success, coupled with the integrated CCTV support of the newly-established Fusion Centre. With the added additional resources set to bolster the unit, we are confident we can again boast Cape Town as one of the world’s top travel destinations,’ said Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.
Between 01 July 2021 – 30 June 2022 in the 2021/22 financial year, the City’s Tourism Safety Unit made 15 arrests, assisted nearly 2300 persons with general matters, and attended to 854 complaints.
The units focus on tourism locations such as:
- Long Street
- V&A Waterfront
- Cape Town International Convention Centre
- Table Mountain Cableway
- Lion’s Head trails
- Grand Parade
‘Through creative campaigns in key source markets together with strategic collaborations that have helped to land more flights than ever at Cape Town International Airport as well as thousands of cruise travellers, the Mother City is going to be buzzing with local and international tourists. The City has also worked consistently with partners to ensure that communities and attractions are ready to welcome visitors. This increase in tourism will boost the local economy and create job opportunities for many more Capetonians,’ said Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.
The Western Cape Government has allocated just over R280 000 for the deployment of the Chrysalis graduates until the end of February next year.
‘I am also very pleased to share that the impressive tourism recovery in the Western Cape, continues. Based on our monthly tourism report, which I received just this morning, I can now confirm that the Cape Town International Airport’s (CTIA) international terminal has hit a recovery rate of 83% this October, compared to October 2019, George Airport is almost fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 90%, and we saw footfall at 17 participating tourism attractions in the Western Cape recording a year-on-year growth in visitors of 128%, reaching a recovery rate of 65% when compared to October 2019,’ said Western Cape Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Minister Mireille Wenger.
‘This launch is another demonstration of how we are seeking to ensure that all spaces throughout the Western Cape are safe for local and international visitors to enjoy. Safety remains a priority for the Western Cape government, and this is one of the reasons why we are also deploying our Chrysalis graduates as our tourism safety officers. This means greater visibility, and further peace of mind for both residents and visitors,’ said Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister Reagen Allen.
Spokesperson for Minister Reagen Allen
082 721 3362 (m)