Safety and security concerns remain the biggest reason for people not wanting to visit Cape Town, Africa.
Cape Town Tourism, in conjunction with Provincial and City stakeholders, has developed a Cape Town Visitor Safety and Support plan with proactive and reactive programs, as well as a dedicated Visitor Support Program. They have put a Members Safety and Security Forum in place as a shared platform with interested members, safety and security agencies, stakeholders. and major attractions.
The forum has been active since November 2005. It meets every three months to formulate, activate, and track the progress of projects that ensure a safer city for visitors. One such project is the “Band Aid” program where members are given the opportunity to provide complimentary products or services to visitors who have been affected by crime or safety incidents as part of its Visitor Support Program. Another is the Cape Town “Tjommies” program where unemployed people are trained in both safety and visitor services and stationed at busy visitor areas in the central city. Visit Men on the Side of the Road’s website.
The Members Safety Forum links in to the relevant local, provincial, and national safety forums as explained in the Cape Town Visitor Safety and Support plan, making sure that its members are part of the bigger picture and the fight to ensure that Cape Town’s reputation as a safe destination is protected.
Some of the outcomes of the forum have been a revised Cape Town Safety and Support plan, a strong partnership established with the police and other safety agencies, copies of a four-step safety plan distributed to all members, delivery of visitor safety tips leaflets, updated visitor collateral, activities regarding visitor safety in Table Mountain National Park, and a series of workshops and a manual for tourism owners and staff to support them in dealing with visitor safety incidents and the media.
Cape Town Tourism can provide those interested with support including: unlimited copies of visitor safety tips, a printed and digital four-step guide to help you contact the relevant emergency services, assistance with visitors affected by crime through the provincial Tourism Safety and Support program, assistance with media communication, a quarterly regional safety forum, and a practical manual to assist you and your team to be aware of the importance of visitor safety and security, proactively develop and maintain a safe and secure environment for visitors, and quickly and effectively react to the 14 most common visitor-related incidents.
The provincial Tourism Safety and Support program (TSSP) is a free service offering support and assistance to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services provided include:
• Practical and emotional support for visitors in need
• Facilitating trauma counseling
• Visiting hospitals or facilitating medical treatment
• Helping with short-term accommodation
• Helping to contact family or friends
• Facilitating embassy and consular involvement
• Assisting with language difficulties
• Assisting with legal processes where possible, including with the police
• Assisting with replacement documents (e.g. flight tickets)
• Facilitating transport arrangements
The TSSP does not offer:
• Financial assistance
• Replacement of lost items
• Medical attention
• Compensation for loss
• Legal advice