Media release

South Africa is a better place to live in

06 March 2014

6 March 2014

South Africa is a better place to live in - this is yet again proven by the number of tourists visiting our country. In 1993, South Africa received a mere 3 million foreign visitors, by 2012; the figure had grown to 13 million visitors.  South Africa remains a destination of choice.
Government also notes a report, produced by international organisation, End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children,   which was released in Germany today. The report highlights sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism sector, and government is encouraged that the report attests to the successful arrests and prosecutions made to reported incidents.
Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams, “South Africa has made great strides in the protection of children, as well as the tourism sector since the advent of democracy. We will not let these criminal cases to deter the country’s progression.
“The second quarter of 2013 saw just over 2,1 million tourist arrivals to South Africa, an increase of 1.5% (31,652) compared to the same period in 2012. This figure clearly shows that South Africa is a major tourist destination, with unique features, and the contribution made by the industry to sustain economic growth and poverty reduction. Like any other country, South Africa does encounter such crimes from  time to time, but government together with its partners continue to ensure the protection of our children.”
Government remains committed to fighting children abuse and continues to implement measures that are aimed at ensuring that all children are and feel safe.  Government has noted with concern a report which indicates.  The public is reassured that government is dealing decisively with these criminal activities, such as,  statutory rape, sexual exploitation of children, including sexual grooming, child pornography and child prostitution  in line with the Sexual Offences Act of 2007.
The Act establishes severe criminal sanctions for those who are in any way involved in the prostitution of a child and aims to provide the affected child with the necessary care and protection.  A Code of Conduct was signed between Fair Trade Tourism SA and the Department of Social Development for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. The code of conduct covers the hotel industry, places of entertainment, tourism and related sectors.
Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams said, “Any activity that infringes on children’s rights will not be tolerated. It is important to remember that South Africa ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 16 June 1995. It was the first international treaty that the new democratic government ratified.
Government continues to ensure that all children enjoy all rights such as right to life, equality and human dignity as enshrined in our Constitution.  Last year, President Jacob Zuma signed the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill into law, giving South Africa, for the first time, a single statute that tackles human trafficking holistically and comprehensively. It criminalises trafficking in persons and other associated offences, and contains measures to protect and assist victims of trafficking. It also seeks to establish an inter-sectoral committee to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.”
“Government calls on parents, and communities at large to work with law enforcement agencies, non-profit organisations that deal with such criminal activities, and report such crimes. South Africa is a better place to live in - and we will not allow such impediments to infringe the rights of our children,” said Williams.
Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communications and Information System (GCIS)

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