CAPE TOWN - The new Walking Tour offered at Robben Island Museum (RIM) will pilot for a year before a price review is done.
RIM council chairperson Khensani Maluleke said they would be giving the tour “at least 12 months in order to evaluate its effectiveness, and to assess against RIM’s overall operational programme”.
Maluleke said number of factors would influence the adjustment of pricing after the pilot phase.
“The number of bookings received, popularity among visitors, public sentiment and feedback from visitors who have experienced the tour, operational costs, revenue to date as well as revenue forecasts, are some of the elements that will influence the pricing strategy going forward,” said Maluleke.
The tour came under the spotlight for its price of R1 000 for South African adults and R620 for South African children aged two to 18 years, while non-South African adults pay R1 400 and R820 for non-South African children aged two to 18.
The high commissioner of the Goringhaicona Khoi-Khoin, Tauriq Jenkins, said the RIM was “deciding to ignore the massive public outcry against the tariffs”.
“It would then perhaps be ‘business as usual’ in as far as they themselves have prescribed it, for a year, before they are open to a discussion on a suitable remedy. A de-colonial framework on accessibility needs to be considered.
“We question the extent to which this has been meaningful engagement process both in terms of the tariffs as well as the curatorial considerations of the walking tour. By prohibitively choosing to make this history an expensive commodity for South Africans, the principles that underpin it as part of the liberation and resistance route grossly undermined,” said Jenkins.
Ex-Political Prisoners Association secretary-general Mpho Masemola said the pilot phase had been confirmed after a meeting with the organisation earlier this week.
“The public have rejected the high prices for the walking tours, because of the exclusion of the local South African population, especially the unemployed.
“These prices should also be equated to the inflation rate in the country hence the majority of people in the country are unemployed, the plan also excluded students and school children.
“I believe that RIM will adjust the prices for the locals. The EPPA totally reject the commercialisation of RIM in the name of generating revenue streams,” said Masemola.
Enquiries to Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Nathi Mthethwa had not been answered by deadline.