SATSA has been working behind the scenes to explore solutions to the recent spike in robberies involving tourist vehicles in Gauteng. SATSA convened a workshop attended by all major tourism transport providers, leading DMCs, SA Tourism and senior SAPS officials. We have also drawn in the largest private sector security company, Fidelity. Three immediate actionable outcomes were identified and SATSA was charged with operationalising these. A work plan is being developed which will incorporate pre-, during and post-incident support.
Develop training sessions that specifically address security issues in the tourism industry. This training will be made available to tourism staff, guides and drivers to avoid crime when possible and to manage a crises situation when it occurs, including emergency/crises protocol. We are also exploring links to formal accreditation in this respect.
- Joint Operations Centre (JOC)
Establishing a dedicated tourism specific JOC that will be operational 24/7 to centralise all systems, processes and response teams. This will include immediate emergency, medical and security response and post-incident management such as trauma counselling, media management, police statements, embassy assistance, etc.
- SATSA App
SATSA has been in the process of developing a general communications APP independent of the security concerns. This APP will be open to all staff of SATSA members and will improve our ability to drive real time communications with members on a host of key issues. A tourism safety functionality will now be included in the app design. Consultation with various existing safety APP developers will take place to choose the best solution or potentially incorporate a combination of these. An important functionality that we hope to include is real-time alerts and communication of crime hotspots, industrial action, etc.
I am always more comfortable reporting on what has been done, as opposed to what is planned. It is however important that SATSA members are aware that your association is working on finding ways and means of mitigating the massive risk this poses to our sector. We are in consultation with various stakeholders and hope to, in addition to the above, also offer our members some value-adds in the security space.
We will keep you updated on these issues.