The TBCSA on the Latest Terrorism Alerts
The TBCSA has noted with concern the latest terrorism alerts issued by the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The alerts made mention of a potential threat to upmarket shopping malls and centers in major cities across the country (specifically Johannesburg and Cape Town). The alerts were issued after ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) called on its militants to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
These warnings could not have come at a worse time considering that our industry has traded under tough conditions for the past two years and is only now showing strong signs of recovery, with a positive outlook for the year.
We issued a media statement this morning to express our concern as an industry while also supporting the swift reaction by the security agencies both in the public and private sector. For those of you who have been following the situation closely, you will know that the Ministries of State Security, International Relations and Home Affairs; and security agencies including the SAPS and ISS (Institute for Security Studies) have released statements to ally any fears by South Africans and people visiting our country. The National Minister of Tourism has also issued a statement in which he “reassures travellers to South Africa of their safety” while visiting our country. We have included a copy of the Minister’s statement for downloading.
The TBCSA notes that although the US Government has issued similar alerts during the Ramadan period for other countries, we understand the alarm this news may cause you and your customers, and appreciate that a level of anxiety and uncertainty may exist.
We have been reliably informed that in response, South Africa’s security agencies are working tirelessly behind the scenes and have increased their presence and vigilance at the country’s shopping malls and centres. In addition, shopping mall management are meeting and cooperating with SAPS, other policing agencies; and national and regional intelligence in this regard.
We would like to encourage you to be vigilant and to ensure that you put extra measures in place to look after your clientele in view of these terror alerts. We also urge you to work with the law enforcement agencies and ensure that you have the latest safety and security information from the various security platforms, including the TBCSA Tourism Safety Initiative (Tsi) where you can report incidences on the TSI portal. We live in a world where terrorism is a reality meaning that no country is immune to this global phenomena and as the TBCSA, we will endeavour to get updates from Government, its security agencies and other trusted agencies and use the information to update our members on the terror alerts and more.
As we head into the holy month of Ramadan, we would like to express our well wishes to fellow citizens and visitors of the Muslim religion.