Indaba set sights on crime

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

South Africa's crime rate and whether KwaZulu-Natal could be made a safe destination for 2010 Soccer World Cup tourists were the big concerns at the yearly provincial tourism conference, which began on Sunday at the Suncoast Casino in Durban.

One delegate said that the area around the Durban beach front, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country and all over the world, was overpopulated by foreigners.

The delegate said that was why crime had increased in that area.

It was said that there were not enough entertainment facilities in black townships, except for shebeens, that were suitable for tourists.

Mandla Mchunu, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial tourism director, said his department would make sure that safety and security equipment, such as closed-circuit television cameras, was in place to monitor crime hotspots in time for the World Cup.

The two-day tourism conference was aimed at increasing tourism to the province in 2010 and beyond.

Wenziwe Thusi, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for arts, culture and tourism, said the Soccer World Cup would provide an opportunity to sell the province as a must-see tourist destination to the millions of international spectators who would be glued to their TV screens for the soccer spectacular.

She said: "Our strategy has to be far-reaching. We should focus on attracting an even bigger number of international tourists to our province long after the last World Cup whistle has been blown."