Africa Travel Week

SANParks is about to stop accepting cash to reduce queues – and for safety

SANParks goes cashless

In a little under a month, 12 of South Africa’s national parks will stop accepting cash payments, South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on Wednesday.

And during the course of 2023, the last of its parks will follow, making it entirely cash free.

SANParks characterised the move as one of environmental responsibility and said that “above all improving customer convenience is key as the cash free payment system will reduce the contact time at entry points particularly during peak times.”

But it also raised safety, in operations often remote and far from security services, saying that “emphasis is placed on minimising the risk associated with the handling of cash”. Safety featured prominently in an infographic alongside its announcement.

The ban on cash will be total, SANParks said in a statement; “[a]ll trade and tourism activities will be cash free and therefore cash will not be accepted.”

Cash tendered as payment may be refused under very specific technical circumstances in South Africa – such as if you try to pay using too many coins. Businesses may also refuse to accept cash reasonably suspected of being counterfeit. But even if businesses may have a duty to accept cash payments, there is no sanction for those who fail to do so.

The SA National parks due to stop accepting cash from September are:

  • Garden Route (Knysna, Wilderness, and Tsitsikamma)
  • Agulhas
  • Richtersveld
  • Namaqua
  • Table Mountain
  • Tankwa Karoo
  • West Coast
  • Mountain Zebra
  • Camdeboo
  • Addo Elephant
  • Mapungubwe
  • Golden Gate Highlands

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.