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Be aware, be safe - Stepping up security for tourists

With its beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife, Mpumalanga is one of South Africa’s favourite tourist destinations. Unfortunately, like elsewhere in South Africa, many visitors and locals are robbed or attacked during the festive season. Criminals often mislead unsuspecting tourists by posing as friendly guides.

It is therefore one of the province’s top priorities to ensure a safe and risk-free festive season for visitors, as well as locals.

Following the success of the Tourism Safety Monitors during
the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the monitors have been tasked to help make the province a safer place for visitors during the festive season.

Visible

Monitors may be identified either through reflector jackets, red t-shirts showing the logos of the Police and the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison or an identification tag. The monitors do not only create a safer environment for tourists who visit Mpumalanga, but also help to increase community awareness about safety. This in turn increases the economic benefits since more tourists will visit the province if they know it is safe.

Skills training

Apart from helping to reduce crime, the programme also develops
skills and helps to fight poverty. All the monitors get a monthly salary and uniforms, as well as special training to equip them for the job.
They gain basic knowledge of how the criminal justice system works and how to report incidents to the police. In addition, they also learn how to provide customer care like handling complaints and giving advice.

-Samona Murugan