Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has expressed sadness at the brutal murder of a German tourist in Mpumalanga on Monday.
The tourist was fatally shot by a group of criminals on Numbi Road at around 4.30pm on Monday.
According to police reports, the incident occurred when four tourists from Germany were traveling in a Hyundai H1 on Numbi Road, en route to Numbi Gate at Mdluli Safari Lodge. They were stopped by three armed suspects, who were driving in a VW Caddy.
Expressing condolences, Sisulu urged law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in bringing to book the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“Our country receives a large number of tourists from all over the globe, including Germany… The high number of tourists is one of the ways in which our tourism sector has been able to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Minister said.
She said she would engage Cabinet Ministers in the security cluster to discuss plans to ensure the safety of tourists who visit the country.
“I condemn this murder and robbery in the strongest terms and call for harsh punishment of those responsible. Tourism is one of our economic drivers and a provider of jobs for the youth. We must work hard to protect this industry.”
Sisulu said the murder will have a negative impact on the socio-economic benefits of the sector, particularly tourism’s contribution to gross domestic product, job creation and ultimately poverty alleviation.
The crime, she said, happened as the country’s tourism sector was poised for a “tremendous bounce back” and positive growth after the first half of the year showed a staggering increase in arrivals.
“This crime will not deter us. We will continue to intensify targeted communication on our digital platforms to sell South Africa as a destination of choice, inviting the world to come and ‘live again’ with us,” the Minister said.