ANC govt can't run Robben Island ferry - DA

Annelie Lotriet says R7m in revenue has been lost due to breakdowns

Robben Island Ferry: Millions lost because ANC can't run a ferry

A reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question has revealed millions of rands have been lost as a result of the continual breakdown of the Sikhululekile ferry, which is used to transport tourists to Robben Island. The ferry is operated by the Robben Island Museum, an entity which falls under the National Department of Arts and Culture. The ferry was purchased by Robben Island's management for R26-million, despite warnings that it was not suited to inclement weather conditions.

The reply confirms that:

  • Sikhululekile has experienced 7 major breakdowns since its inception in February 2008, which have resulted in down-time of approximately 70 days.
  • At an average of R175 000 daily earnings from the ferry during peak season, and R35 000 during the low season, 70 days of downtime equates to approximately R7-million in lost revenues.

It is tragic that a major South African landmark like Robben Island Museum continues to be run into the ground by the national ANC government. Robben Island is a momentous historical landmark in South Africa - a symbol of our triumph over tyranny and injustice. That thousands of South Africans and visitors from abroad are being turned away, and millions of rands in potential revenues lost, because of the ANC government's inability to run a ferry, is shameful.

We cannot afford to let Robben Island lose its UNESCO World Heritage status, and continue to turn away visitors in such numbers - the upshot of which is lost tourism revenue and employment creation. The DA's Western Cape provincial government will continue to engage with the Robben Island Museum board, in an attempt to find new solutions to the ongoing problems with Robben Island's management.

Statement issued by Prof. Annelie Lotriet MP, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Arts and Culture, January 19 2011

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