"Racism has no room in tourism, we will not tolerate nor accommodate any racist behaviour in our industry," says says Tshifiwa Tshivhengwa, Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO. "As South Africans, we know how ugly racism is and we cannot be dragged back. We are pleased that law enforcement agencies have started an investigation into the matter. We call for harsh punishment once the facts have been established. We also want to reassure both local and international travellers that South Africa is open to all."
Satsa has thrown its weight behind the statement made by the TBCSA, saying: “We all have an acute responsibility to uphold the rights held sacred in our Constitution and create business cultures that unequivocally reject and condemn racist behaviour of any kind,” says Oupa Pilane, Satsa co-chair.
“This kind of incident undermines the efforts of South Africans who are working daily to promote cultural diversity, sensitisation and reconciliation. We cannot allow this kind of abhorrent behaviour to go unpunished and trust that the police will expedite their investigations to ascertain the full facts and prosecute accordingly.
“Further let this be a warning to stakeholders in the tourism sector to remain vigilant always. As tourism professionals and establishments, we are the first line of protection for South Africa’s brand and must always demonstrate an exemplary vision of the Rainbow nation,” concludes Pilane.
South African Tourism (SA Tourism) has also welcomed the latest news from the office of the Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Makalo Mohale that law enforcement agencies are now involved in the case and that the perpetrators have been criminally charged.
"All South Africans as well as all visitors alike, have the right to enjoy South Africa... we must connect with each other as we explore our country and also open our hearts and doors to welcome visitors from all over the world," the national tourism agency said in a statement.