By James Masango MPL, Interim DA Spokesperson on Community Safety, Security and Liaison:
The following statement was delivered today by Interim DA Spokesperson on Community Safety, Security and Liaison, James Masango MPL, during a sitting on questions for oral reply to the MEC’s which took place in Nkomazi. Taking Legislature to the People.
I rise to deliver a member statement on behalf of the Democratic Alliance.
Hon. Speaker, reports of traffic officials soliciting bribes from tourist are once again beginning to circulate.
These traffic officials are allegedly targeting foreign tourist visiting the Lowveld tourism sites such as the Kruger National Park and the Panorama Route.
These traffic cops are demanding bribes for traffic offences that include, changing lanes without indicating, driving too close behind trucks, and even demanding toll fees for no toll roads.
Hon. Speaker, such actions by officials mandated to ensure adherence to the rule of the road are completely unacceptable.
Tourism in the province is already underperforming with the new Visa Regulations having had a negative effect on tourism numbers. The actions of these few traffic officials needs to dealt with decisively and swiftly.
According to Kruger Lowveld Tourism, Mpumalanga receives approximately 1.1 million foreign tourists a year and this region generates about R7bn each year while foreign direct spend in the whole country is about R65bn. Therefore, a threat on tourism, is a threat to the provincial economy.
As such Hon. Speaker, we therefore call of the MEC of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, to devise a strategy that will curb this untoward behaviour of traffic officials, as well as a programme that will educate our traffic officials on the negative effects of soliciting bribes from both domestic and international tourists, and the effects on the provincial economy.
I thank you