#Mahikeng: A tourism view

mahikeng protests, does violence affect tourism in south africa, protests against supra mahumapelo

By Unathi Sonwabile Henama

Violent and deadly protests occurring in Mahikeng have captured national attention. President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London to attend to the protests that had engulfed the North West Province. President Ramaphosa was leading Invest SA, a mission to London to woo investors and sell South Africa as an investment destination. Foreign direct investment is important as a driver of economic growth. The absence of Cyril Ramaphosa will be felt in London, as the global media has followed his hurried departure back to South Africa.

Protesters have clashed with police, participating in public violence, looting shops and disturbing traffic on major highways. There has been a destruction of public property, which has become institutionalised within the protest culture in South Africa. This led to the torching of the Mmabana Cultural Centre, which showcases the arts and cultural practices of Batswana. Mahikeng, which is the provincial capital city, has been at the epicentre of the protests, with sporadic disruptions also occurring in Klerksdorp.

Police have been dispersing protestors with rubber bullets, leading to several arrests and two fatalities have been reported. Police resources are stretched to the limit, as the number of protestors far outnumber police personnel. Tensions remain high as the top six of the ANC on the 20th April 2018 met with premier Supra Mahumapelo. The protestors are demanding that premier Mahumapelo resigns from the provincial office. The ANC finds itself in a tight corner, as the protestors happen to be voters and them might dump the ANC in the general elections in 2019, should a resolution remain deferred. The ANC will recall that residents in Tshwane voted against the ANC. This led to the ANC not achieving more than 50% in the local government elections for the first time, and the ANC was dislodged after opposition parties formed a coalition government.

The violence in Mahikeng led to Botswana, a neighbouring country, closing the border with South Africa. This might negatively affect religious tourism to Tshwane, as thousands of Batswana cross the border to attend church services at Enlightened Christian Gathering, hosted by Prophet Bushiri. Botswana has declared Bushiri as an undesired visitor to Botswana.

The closure of the border is one of the reasons, that led President Cyril Ramaphosa to become pro-active in trying to resolve the issue in Mahikeng, by returning home from an international commitment. The unrest in Mahikeng occurred concurrently with World Travel Market (WTM) Africa hosted in Cape Town between 18 and 20 April 2018. This trade show is important to exhibit travel products and is a marketing platform for travel destinations. The events in Mahikeng have done a disservice to brand South Africa generally, and the North West specifically. Tourism is very sensitive to external events and shocks such as protests, crime, acts of terror and political unrest. The violence that is associated with service delivery strikes in South Africa can be regarded as a form of home-grown terrorism. South Africa already suffers from a poor image because of low levels of personal safety and security. In the tourism industry, perceptions and image triumph reality. Tourism requires a favourable destination image, in order to grow. South Africa has capitalised on the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and this reality must be replicated daily in South Africa.

Tourism is the new gold and it must become everyone’s business if it is to succeed. Tourism growth in the past 24 years has surpassed the national growth rate, which has been pedestrian. The ability of tourism to grow with jobs is unparalleled, due to its labour intensive nature. For many localities, tourism has emerged as the only economic sector that can restore human dignity through jobs and entrepreneurial activities. Because almost all countries have jumped on the tourism bandwagon, this has meant that competition amongst destinations has increased. South Africa must improve its tourism competitiveness. This, therefore, means anything negative that occurs in South Africa might have an impact on tourism. This makes the business of tourism everyone’s business. Tourism more than any other sector demands a responsible and responsive public service. If tourism can ensure that the public service is more responsive to the needs of the citizens, then tourism will continue its human rights dividend. I wish President Ramaphosa well in trying to find a resolution to the crisis in the North West. A speedy resolution could be the best dividend for his Presidency, that he is a pro-active President that he is Mr Fix-It.

Unathi Sonwabile Henama teaches tourism at the Tshwane University of Technology and writes in his personal capacity


What are your thoughts on the protest action in Mahikeng? Tweet us using #KayaOnline



    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    More Articles
    Receive the latest news

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter



    Copyright Notice


    1.1 The contents of this Website, including but not limited to its compilation and arrangement, is the exclusive property of Kaya 959, alternatively the suppliers of content to Kaya 959, and accordingly remain protected by South African and International Copyright and Trademark laws.

    1.2 Any person accessing this Website, may not, save for downloading one copy for their personal computers and solely for their private and non-commercial use :

    1.2.1 Copy, disseminate, distribute, advertise, publish, adapt, modify or in any way reproduce the contents of this website for commercial purposes, unless this notice and any disclaimer attached thereto is published in its entirety, or unless the permission of Kaya 959 is obtained in writing.

    Privacy Policy


    POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


    • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
    • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
    • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


    • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


    • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
    1. Definitions and Interpretation

    1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

    1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

    1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

    1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

    1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL www.kaya959.co.za or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

    1. Status and Amendments

    2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

    2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

    2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

    1. Processing of Personal Information

    3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

    3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

    3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
    collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

    3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

    3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

    3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

    3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

    3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

    1. Collection of anonymous data

    4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

    4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

    4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

    4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

    4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

    1. Security

    5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

    1. Links to other websites

    6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

    1. Queries

    7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected] 

    Competition Terms and Conditions

    • The competitions are open to all persons over the age of 18 years; except directors, partners, employees, agents, service providers, and consultants of Kaya 959, the sponsor and all its subsidiaries and its holding company, if any, as well as all spouses, life partners, parents, children, siblings, business partners and associates of such persons.

    • The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge/presenter, whose decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into thereafter. Neither Kaya 959, sponsors nor their agents will be held responsible or answerable to any dispute arising from the competition or prize awards.

    • Participants/listeners enter or take part in competitions at their own risk and Kaya 959 bears no responsibility for any loss, damage or harm suffered as a result of participation in any of Kaya 959 competition.

    • One listener is entitled to winning one prize in a period of 3 months. Kaya 959 reserves the right not to award a prize if the listener has won a prize prior during the 3 month window period. This also applies to listeners who provide family or friend’s contact details.

    • Kaya 959 reserves the right to redistribute all unclaimed prizes if not claimed after 3 months after being given away On Air or on the website.

    • Prizes are not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash.

    • Finalists will forfeit their participation in the competition if they fail to attend the draws.

    • The competition will run during the period advertised on Kaya 959; entries received outside of the competition period will not be considered for the competition draw.

    • Kaya 959 and their sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify or amend the competition at any time if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of their control.

    • By entering the competition, entrants agree to accept these rules and to be bound by them.