- The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says the government takes strong exception to the travel advisory issued by the Australian government
- The notice warns Australian travellers of the drought in Cape Town, murders, assaults, muggings, robbery, smash and grabs, and other forms of theft often involving weapons and violence
- Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said she would raise the government’s concerns about the potentially harmful advisory with her Australian counterpart Minister Julie Bishop
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Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has slammed a travel advisory issued by the Australian government, which warns that South Africa isn’t really suitable to visit.
Sisulu said the South African government took strong exception to the misleading and potentially damaging advisory issued by the Australian government. Sisulu said the advisory contained misleading information about the experiences of foreign tourists to South Africa.
Sisulu said she would raise the government’s concerns about the travel advisory with her Australian counterpart Minister Julie Bishop. Dirco has taken the decision to escalate the matter after making unsuccessful attempts to have the advisory amended to reflect the real experience of foreign tourists.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the advisory was issued on 30 January and appears on a travel website which is affiliated with the Australian government.
The notice warns Australian travellers of the drought in Cape Town, murders, assault, muggings, robbery, smash and grabs, and other forms of theft often involving weapons and violence. It also warns Australians to exercise a high degree of caution while in South Africa.
The advisory also warns of there is a threat of terrorism in South Africa.
The advisory reads in part: “Exercise a high degree of caution because of the high level of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor media and other sources of information about possible new security risks. The frequency of most types of crime is increasing. Robberies are frequently reported on the roads and at shopping centres. Visitors to shopping malls should remain vigilant at all times.”
Sisulu said the advisory had the potential to do great damage to South Africa’s international reputation as a tourist destination and could tarnish the country’s image abroad.
“South Africa remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and tourists in most instances have pleasant experiences of our country,” she said.
Relations between the South African and Australian governments have become tense since Australia’s home affairs minister said he was considering fast-tracking visa applications for white farmers.
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