Tourists assured that safety is 'top priority' in Cape Town

The shooting of alleged gang boss Jerome Booysen at Cape Town International Airport has prompted Western Cape and Cape Town tourism‚ trade and investment agency Wesgro to issue a statement asking tourists not to be deterred by the incident.

Gunmen opened fire on Booysen on Wednesday. He survived and received medical attention‚ as did a bystander who was struck by a stray bullet. Police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said on Thursday morning that there were no updates on the investigation into the shooting at Cape Town International Airport.

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said they were confident that authorities would bring the perpetrators to book.

“This incident should not deter tourists from our beautiful city – who can rest assured that their safety is a top priority to the city and province‚” said Harris.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday expressed his “’great shock’’ at the incident.

“We need to up our security in this port as we have done at OR Tambo International Airport‚ where we have seen great progress. Airports are not only ports of entry‚ but a first encounter on which our visitors judge our country. Therefore this incident has devastating effect on our tourism industry and job creation‚’’ said Mbalula in a statement.

This week Wesgro welcomed Lufthansa’s launch of a “new route and two route expansions to Cape Town’’. From October 29 the airline will fly from Frankfurt to Cape Town five times a week. In addition Swiss airline Edelweiss will‚ as of November 27‚ fly from Zurich to Cape Town three times a week.

Alan Winde‚ Western Cape MEC for economic opportunities‚ said: “In the upcoming summer season‚ we are scheduled to see an additional 130 000 international seats flying to our destination‚ due to the commitment of airlines from all parts of the world to start operating new routes direct to Cape Town‚ or to expand their current flight schedules.”