Monday 17 December 2018
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iol - 29 days ago

Cancellation of ferries causes outrage

Robben Island employees who travel between the mainland and the island have described the frequent cancellation of ferries as “worse than Metrorail”. Employees and a private ferry driver said the cancellations have become frequent in the past three months. They said the Robben Island Museum invariably cited fog as the reason for cancellations. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing. It’s mainly boats that transport staff that are cancelled and this affects families and pupils who live in the island and have to take a boat to the mainland where they’re probably writing exams,” said one employee who spoke on condition of anonymity. The employee said the ferry Sikhuselekile transports staff from the island to the Nelson Mandela gateway. A crew member said: “This doesn’t only affect the people living on the island, this surely affects the tourism economy as well. It makes our tourism a mockery.” Robben Island spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa said: “Tours have been recently cancelled due to adverse weather conditions as visitor safety comes first. Our cancellations are based on various weather conditions as informed by both on-board and mainland-based navigational equipment.” “The visible dense fog may have had an impact on the docking and undocking of the vessels. We deemed it necessary to cancel the 9am tour this (yesterday) morning as a safety precaution. Operations proceeded once the fog uplifted. Robben Island Museum puts visitor safety first, especially in weather dependant circumstances irrespective of the boat ownership “Factors such as weather and the water crisis have had an impact on tourism in the province. Robben Island Museum’s operations are subject to weather conditions. This has a direct impact on revenue and not necessarily on tourism.,” Ramaboa said.

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