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DA says it forced NMB Metro to produce Tourist Safety Plan

Oct 3, 2019
DA says it forced NMB Metro to produce Tourist Safety Plan

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will now prioritise the local tourism economy and job creation after an urgent Democratic Alliance (DA) motion for a Tourist Safety Strategy was adopted, the party said on Thursday.

"Today, during a meeting of the municipal safety and security committee, I submitted a motion of exigency to debate a Tourist Safety Strategy for the Metro," said Gustav Rautenbach Cllr - DA Nelson Mandela Bay Spokesperson for Safety and Security.

"All parties agreed with the DA on the urgent need for this strategy and the committee decided the Municipality must now meet with all stakeholders, including the Nelson Mandela University (NMU), to formulate the strategy. It was also decided that a safety plan must be presented at the Metro’s Safer City Summit – to take place on 27 and 28 November 2019."

Rautenbach said that during a recent meeting between the DA and the tourism and hospitality industry, community organisations, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the metro police, crime and lawlessness in the CBD, Humewood and along the beachfront in particular was highlighted.

"After recent reports of tourist having been affected by incidents of crime - hotels and accommodation establishment are asking their guest to leave their belongings – such as jewellery, cellphones and cameras – behind and not to venture out on their own."

He said that this not the kind of hospitality we want to provide in the city.

Rautenbach added that these problems can be addressed if some of the following steps are taken:

  • Reopen and staff the metro police office at the beachfront and ensure metro police officers are visible;
  • Deploy more traffic officials to the beachfront as drunken driving in the early morning hours is a massive problem where entertainment establishments remain open after closing hours. People are also openly drinking in public; and
  • Appoint and train law enforcement/peace officers to have more feet on the ground.

"The need for a fourth policing sector in the Humewood policing area focussed specifically on the beachfront, is also more critical than ever," he described.

"In April 2018, the SAPS committed to establish a beachfront police sector in the Humewood policing area. This was confirmed by the Eastern Cape MEC for Safety and Security, Weziwe Tikana, in the provincial legislature. Since then nothing has been forthcoming and accordingly the DA will now tackle this issue on local and provincial government level.

"Under the DA-led coalition government steps were being taken to ensure the safety of residents and tourists, while also creating jobs in the local economy."

Rautenbach also said that not only were the metro police and traffic department active at the beachfront, in December 2017 former Mayor Athol Trollip launched a Tourism Ambassador Programme.

"The ambassadors worked closely with the Metro Police and the SAPS to patrol beaches, identify and report lawlessness and the transgression of by-laws," he described.

"This initiative has disappeared under the failing UDM/ANC/EFF-led coalition government."

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