Protect tourism by tackling Table Mountain crime

There is much to be learnt from the current port congestion crisis, not least the imperative of public-private partnerships in resolving some of our most pressing challenges.

Recent attacks on Table Mountain highlight another area where such a partnership could potentially make a positive impact.

Attacks on the mountain retard tourism and erode access to a valuable public asset. The recent disappearance of German tourist Nick Frischke near Hout Bay sent shockwaves through the local tourism sector, and ongoing muggings on Lion’s Head and Signal Hill are an indictment against our national law enforcement capabilities. 

But as with our logistics crisis, Government should look to the private sector for assistance on Table Mountain. SANParks has fiscal challenges that make private involvement all the more urgent and necessary. A specialised crime-fighting unit involving private stakeholders with security expertise could go a long way to reclaiming known crime hotspots from criminals currently operating with seeming impunity.  A permanent unit of this kind would ensure a sustainable solution to the Mountain security problem by coordinating and harnessing input from multiple stakeholders.

Conversely, the longer Government dillydallies with ad-hoc or ‘pop-up’ responses to the problem, the greater the chance of opportunistic crime turning into something more organised and threatening. 

Our tourism sector can create thousands more jobs, but it needs the requisite support if it is to fulfil its potential.

John Lawson
CEO of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry