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South African Parliament expressed concern over attacks on tourists

LONDON — South Africa’s Parliament on Monday expressed grave concern over the latest criminal attacks on tourists in the country, especially the killing of a foreign tourist in Cape Town.

The South African Parliament “vows to do all in its power to coordinate activities to ensure that such heinous crimes against tourists are not repeated,” Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism said in a press release.

The condemnation began after a Ukrainian tourist was attacked, robbed and murdered by three people while hiking in the Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, last Saturday.

Police arrested one suspect while two others are still at large, according to police.

Meanwhile, the South African National Parks (SANParks) has deployed 55 park rangers to patrol the Table Mountain National Park range following the killing.

According to diplomatic missions accreditated to South Africa, the country has seen a sharp escalation in attacks on tourists recently.

A news report from the country says on July 16, a gang of 15 pistol-wielding robbers robbed guests, staff and a jewelry store at Mount Nelson Hotel, a prestigious five-star hotel in Cape Town. No one reported hurt — the second reported robbery since March 2018 when gangs robbed the same jewelry shop in the area.

According to sources, two weeks earlier, a gang affected a daylight diamond heist in downtown Cape Town. During the robbery, four-armed males wearing masks and workmen’s overalls stripped The Diamond Works store opposite the Cape Town International Convention Center.

“We have noted from our interaction with inbound tour operators and South African Tourism, which is our marketing entity, that perceptions about crime in South Africa are negatively impacting on tourism,” the parliamentary statement said.

The situation negatively impacts the socio-economic benefits of the sector, particularly tourism’s contribution to the gross domestic product, job creation, and ultimately, poverty alleviation said the statement.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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