German tourist suspect

The car that the tourists were travelling in. Image: SAPS

SA govt ‘will consider’ CLOSING this tourist hot-spot – due to crime

Has it come to this? A popular tourist hot-spot could be closed off for good, following a surge in high-profile criminal activity.

German tourist suspect

The car that the tourists were travelling in. Image: SAPS

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has admitted that closing the Numbi Gate entrance to Kruger National Park is very much a possibility. This comes a week after a group of German visitors were attacked in a botched hijacking at the tourist hot-spot, leading to one fatality.

Lindiwe Sisulu tourists safe
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu addressing the media on government’s intervention measures on Coronavirus COVID-19 at DIRCO – Photo: GCIS

Kruger Park murder: Will the Numbi Gate be closed for good?

The incident has rocked the tourist industry in Mzansi, and there are genuine fears that it could severely harm this cornerstone of our economy. The deadly carjacking made international headlines, and called into question the safety of foreigners choosing to holiday in South Africa.

Although murder rates for tourists remain relatively low, the Numbi Gate incident sets a dangerous precedent. That’s why officials are scrambling to ensure the safety of all travellers visiting KNP. SANParks acting CEO, Hapiloe Sello, has advised visitors to use other gates.

“This incident has brought a lot of apprehension to many of our loyal local and international visitors which could result in cancellations for planned visits to the park. It is thus important for us to remind visitors that KNP has 10 other gates which tourists can safely enter from.” | Hapiloe Sello

Lindiwe Sisulu mulling closure of tourist hot-spot

For many, however, this measure only serve to put a plaster on a profusely-bleeding wound. Figures in the DA have called for a TOTAL CLOSURE of Numbi Gate, which has seen a number of robberies and attacks carried out against tourists over the years.

And, in a rare show of solidarity, it looks like the ANC does agree with the DA. Lindiwe Sisulu is now entertaining the idea of shutting down Numbi Gate, once all stakeholders have been consulted. She said it is vital that her department reacts in a way which guarantees the safety of tourists.

“The advice to close the Numbi Gate is something we must discuss with owners of the lodges, to see if we can find an alternative route. We must avoid another incident at all costs. This is not how us South Africans would like to portray the country.” | Lindiwe Sisulu