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Frank de Graaf
 
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Mr Hanekom, you missed something

10 July 2014, 18:35
Dear Mr Hanekom

Firstly I would like to applaud you in your efforts to improve the image of our country to foreign visitors - it's critical for those of us in the tourism business that we have someone like you in charge, and on our side.

However I do feel you missed the bigger picture here. The majority of our airports are world class establishments where, mostly, things run smoothly with the odd exception of a grumpy official or a stolen bag (something that happens all over the world by the way).

The thing you missed is this: The Gautrain has basically expanded O.R. Tambo International to all the stations that it services, making Pretoria, Centurion, Midrand and Johannesburg the first "point of entry" for many people.

And that is where the problem is. I use Hatfield Station as the example. Once you have left the confines of the station, the streetlights are out, the pavements are littered with trash, crime has taken route in the nearby abandoned properties and our tourists are being mugged on a weekly basis.

Many guesthouses and hotels (and I'm sure not just the ones in Hatfield) survive off the access the Gautrain has created, but nothing is been done for the surrounding areas, nor for the protection of visitors who leave the confines of the station.

I'm completely behind you on upgrading the image of our beautiful country, but maybe your thoughts should stretch just a little further than the airports.

Best Regards
Frank de Graaf
Owner: Pumbas Backpackers
www.pumbas.co.za


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