Tourism Safety Officers contribute to safer festive season
The Western Cape Government’s (WCGs) Tourism Safety Officers (TSOs) have been making a significant contribution to keeping visitors safe at the various holiday sites across the Cape.
The 19 TSOs, who commenced with their operations on 1 December 2022, are working hand-in-hand with SANparks Field Rangers. During December the TSOs assisted with 9 rescues where tourists were injured while on their walks. The officers are currently operating at various sites, and amongst others they include Lion’s Head, Platteklip Gorge, Signal Hill, Devils Peak, Deer Park, Rhodes Memorial Dam, Noon Gun, while also assisting at the Newlands and Oudekraal picnic sites.
Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said; “we initiated the TSO programme to ensure that spaces which both local and international visitors frequent, are safe to enjoy. The mere increased visibility of these officers ensured that this could be achieved. In addition, we wanted to create an employment opportunity for our Chrysalis graduates, which contributes to overall safety in Cape Town and in our province. I’m particularly encouraged to note that the impeccable level of fitness, given that these are Chrysalis graduates, has been an advantage when the TSOs had to navigate the mountain slopes.”
To date, the TSO programme has had a budget spend of over R 423 000. The officers are contracted until the end of February 2023.
Western Cape Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger said; “Our Tourism Safety Officers are an important part of not only keeping visitors to key attractions in and around Cape Town safe, but also to provide useful information and guidance. These officers make sure that visitors, be they locals, domestic or international, are able to experience this amazing city safely. This is an important task and helps to ensure that they come back again and again and contribute to moving beyond tourism recovery, to growth and on to significant expansion that can create even more jobs for the citizens of the Western Cape.”
“The continued development and empowerment of these TSOs are important. It not only ensures that they are ready to serve as safety officers, but should further employment prospects arise, they would also be able to immediately take advantage of those opportunities,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.