Independent World Bank report underscores the DA’s longstanding warnings on tourism

Issued by Manny de Freitas MP – DA Shadow Minister of Tourism
24 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Manny de Freitas MP

This week, the World Bank released a report titled Safety First: The economic cost of crime in South Africa, affirming the DA’s consistent concerns regarding tourism, which “has not yet recovered to their pre-pandemic levels in real and seasonally adjusted terms.”

The government has, until now, disregarded our warnings. This unbiased report validates the DA’s concerns and highlights the potential economic devastation in the tourism sector that we have been cautioning against.

The report identifies major factors contributing to low growth and weaker post-pandemic recovery in tourism, with the “electricity crisis” or loadshedding being a primary concern. Loadshedding has increased operational costs in travel, tourism, and related sectors, including the acquisition of expensive backup diesel generators. This adversely affects tourism confidence and discourages new investments in the sector.

Predicting an economic growth of only 0.7 percent in 2023 due to ongoing load-shedding disruptions, the report forecasts an average annual growth of 0.3 percent in South Africa between 2019 and 2023, significantly below other emerging and developing economies predicted to grow by 0.7 percent in 2023.

As repeatedly emphasised by the DA, crime hampers international tourism – a crucial sector for creating low to middle-skilled jobs.

Crimes such as car hijackings, sexual offenses, murders, and kidnapping significantly reduce tourism to South Africa. Coupled with ANC’s governance issues like deteriorating infrastructure, this creates safety concerns that lead to a tourism shortfall estimated at 5 to 10 million visitors annually, representing a loss of 0.7 to 1.5 million jobs and a tourism spending loss of 0.7 to 1.5 percent of GDP.

This independent report, free from political bias, demands serious attention and serves as a wake-up call for Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. I will be submitting questions for an official written reply to the Minister regarding this report and her plans to prevent a potential tourism Armageddon in South Africa.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at