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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  02 Nov 2009

TOURISM: Concern Over Robben Island


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At the first meeting on Friday of the of Cape Premier’s Metropolitan Co-ordination Forum, the meeting expressed its grave concern over the deteriorating state and problems with access to Robben Island. The worsening state of the island, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Department of Arts and Culture is a major Provincial and City concern.  

The meeting noted that in 2010, the eyes of the world will be on Cape Town and Robben Island, as one of the key heritage and tourism destinations of the city. It is imperative that visitors to the city are able to access and enjoy the island, and after the event, that residents of this city and country can enjoy it and learn from its important history.

If the poor management of Robben Island continues, the island risks losing its status as a World Heritage Site. During 2007 the National Assembly Portfolio Committee for Arts and Culture were informed by the then Chief Finance Officer that the Robben Island Museum lost R25 million in the previous financial year. During this period they also received a qualified report from the Auditor General due to problems with financial information.

This year the poor state of the ferry service resulted in the shutdown of the service over peak tourism periods. The degradation of the natural environment contributes to a poor visitor experience.

The meeting noted that the opportunity presented by the 2010 Soccer World Cup to showcase Robben Island as an important heritage site should not be missed due to poor management. The meeting  mandated the Premier, Helen Zille and Executive Mayor Dan Plato to request a meeting with the National Minister of Arts & Culture to present a list of concerns and proposals to the minister and to express the City and the Province’s commitment and support to showcasing and promoting Robben Island.

The objective of the Premier’s Metropolitan Co-ordination Forum(PMCF) is to promote inter-governmental relations and co-operation between the Provincial and City government. The PMCF is comprised of the Premier, Executive Mayor, Members of the Executive Council and Mayoral Committee, the City Manager and his Executive Management Team, the Provincial Director-General and the Heads of Department of the Province. It is scheduled to meet at least four times per year.

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