By far the majority (63%) of the tourists come from Europe. This high percentage can be ascribed to the fact that the survey was conducted in March, which falls in the peak season. The situation is reversed during the winter months, when the majority of tourists are domestic. On average, the survey has indicated that the majority of the visitors are from South Africa, which is the opposite for Cape Town, where the majority of visitors are from overseas.
e.2) Duration of stay
57% stay for 3 days and longer, 26% for 3 days and 18% for less than 3 days.
e.3) Purpose of visit
The majority (74%) are on holiday, and 17% are businessmen.
e.4) Frequency of visits
57% have indicated that it is the first time that they have visited the area.
e.5) Most appealing characteristic
36% finds nature to be the most appealing character of the area, followed by the climate (27%) and then the views (23%).
The majority (65%) of the tourists are from South Africa.
g.2) Profile of visitors
A large percentage (46%) of the tourists are retired people, 13% are businessmen and 13% families.
g.3) Seasonal fluctuation of business
81% indicated that the tourism industry is not strongly seasonally orientated, with the peak season being September to March. However, similar to Cape Town, there is a change in the origin profile of the tourists with the majority in the peak season being from overseas, with the profile being reversed in the winter months.
On average, it would appear that the tourism establishments receive more domestic tourists than overseas tourists (refer paragraph g1 above).
g.4) Age of establishment
The majority (76%) of the establishments were developed after Pelindaba was built.
g.5) Perception of nuclear technology
The majority (60%) has a negative perception about nuclear technology, 15% are indifferent and 25% positive.
g.6) Possible implications for the tourism industry
The respondents were nearly split on the question of whether the Pelindaba plant has had an effect on the local tourism industry. 35% were of the opinion that it had no effect, 30% were of the opinion that it's had a negative effect, and 35% were not sure.
g.7) Possible perceptions of tourists towards nuclear technology and Pelindaba
Half (50%) of respondents were of the opinion that tourists have a negative perception about nuclear technology.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents were of the opinion that the existence of the Pelindaba plant had no effect on the decision of tourists to visit the area, 15% percent said that it has and 35% were not sure.
g.9) Effect of Pelindaba on the local tourism industry
30% of the respondents were of the opinion that the plant has had a negative effect on the local tourism industry, 35% were not sure, whereas only 19% were of the opinion that it had a positive effect.
g.10) Awareness of PBMR
By far the majority (71%) were aware of the PBMR project, of which 69% learnt about it through the printed media.
g.11) Opinion of PBMR impact on the local tourism industry.
38% of the respondents were of the opinion that the project will have a negative effect, 14% did not think that it would, whereas 48% were not sure.
Table 26-50presents a summary of the findings.
Table 26‑50: Summary of findings – tourism establishment survey (Pelindaba)
Question 1: How long have you managed the facility?
Question 2: How many people can you accommodate?
Question 3: What is the ratio between domestic and foreign visitors p/a?
Question 4: What is the profile of your visitors p/a?
Question 5: Is your business strongly seasonally linked?
Question 6: What time of the year is your peak season?
Question 7: Did your business exist before Pelindaba?
Question 8: What is your perceptions on nuclear technology with regard to safety and its impact on the environment?
Question 9: Do you think Pelindaba had a negative effect on the local tourism industry?
Question 10: What are the general perceptions of tourist regarding nuclear technology and Pelindaba plant?
Question 11: Do you think Pelindaba plant had an effect on tourists’ decision to visit the area?
Question 12: What element of the plant has the most significant negative impact on the local tourism industry?
Question 13: Has Pelindaba had any positive effect on the local tourism industry?
Question 14: Are you aware of the proposed PBMR?
Question 15: How did you obtain information about it?
Question 16: Do you think the establishment of the PBMR will have a negative effect on the local tourism industry?
h) Interpretation of findings
Similar to the reaction in Koeberg, nearly half (48%) of the operators have a negative perception about nuclear technology. However, nearly half of the operators (43%) were also of the opinion that the existence of Pelindaba had no effect on the decision of tourists to visit the area. 38% were of the opinion that the PBMR project will have a negative effect on the local tourism industry, whereas nearly half of the respondents (48%) were not sure.
Pelindaba had little effect on the local tourism industry.
The purpose of this section is to present the findings of the survey in their context, and to present a final conclusion.
26.4.2 CONTEXT OF THE FINDINGS
The results of the survey, as summarised in Section 3, appears to indicate that a percentage of the tourists may reconsider to visit these two areas again if the PBMR project is implemented. In the case of Koeberg, 7% have indicated that they may not visit the area again, with the corresponding figure for Pelindaba being a much higher 30%. However, these results have to be interpreted in context, and the following considerations need to be taken into account:
i. The survey did not capture the full spectrum of visitors, but focussed largely on those that stayed in the establishments that are less expensive such as B&B’s and self-catering facilities. The reason for this is because the hotel groups were not willing to allow surveys to be done on their clientele. As such, the high-income category tourists could not be included in the survey. Most of the tourists who resided in hotels in and around the Cape Town CBD and Waterfront, are far from the Koeberg power plant. It can therefore be assumed that this group would in all probability be much less concerned about the existence of a nuclear plant. As such, this grouping would have decreased the percentage of tourists that may not return due to the existence of a nuclear plant.
ii. A one-page background document was attached to the questionnaire to provide the basic information on the PBMR. However, it was found that tourists did not have time to study the background documentation, and as such did not have a good understanding of what the project entailed. Their reaction may thus have tended to be more negative, based on the connotation on nuclear technology and their perceptions of past accidents, such as the disaster that occurred at Chernobyl. The high percentage of visitors in the Pelindaba area that indicated that they might consider not to visit the area again should the PBMR project be implemented, could therefore be considered as an over-count.
iii. The study did not consider the positive effects that the construction and operation of the plant will have on the local economy. As an indication of the significance of such a contribution, the proposed phase 2 development at Arabella Golf Estate could be used as an example. It was calculated that the investment of R431 750 000 would generate an additional R97 850 000 to the GGP. This is a once off injection into the economy. The construction of the PBMR plant would have a similar effect on the local economy. Besides this once-off effect, the operation of the plant, and the sale of the electricity generated would also have an ongoing impact on the local economy. As an indication of the significance of this, the sector “Water and Electricity” (which include the sale of electricity), contributed 2.1% towards the GGP of Malmesbury141 in 1980. In 2000, the contribution of this sector increased to 22%. The annual growth rate achieved in this sector for the period 1990 to 2000 was about 6.3%. This growth can only be attributed to the effect of Koeberg. As such, the effect of the initial capital investment and the operational cost may cancel and even exceed the “loss” that may occur because of fewer tourists visiting the area.
iv. Some of the people employed at the nuclear plant would stay at the local tourism establishments. In discussions with the owners of the local B&B’s, it was stated that many of the engineers and technicians from overseas stay at the local establishments. This category of visitors is an important source of clientele, particularly for those establishments that are located near to the plants.
The survey seems to suggest that the development of the PBMR project will have a negative effect on the economy via the tourism industry, as fewer people may visit the area. However, this result has to be interpreted in context of the considerations listed in paragraph 4.2 above. Even in the event of a decrease in the number of visitors to the area, this should not have a dramatic negative effect on the economy for the following reasons:
i. The reduction in the number of people visiting the two areas will in all probability only occur in the short term, as people will in time “get used to” the existence of the plant. Secondly, the annual overall growth of the local tourism industry (i.e. the annual growth in the number of visitors) should cancel this decrease.
ii. Some of the engineers and technicians employed at or visiting the plant, stay at the local tourism establishments as they offer affordable rates and are closely located to the plant. This source of visitors could off-set the “loss” of the others.
It can therefore be concluded, that the possible negative effect implied by less tourists visiting the area, may only last for the short term, and may be cancelled out by workers staying at the local establishments.
The possible negative effect implied by less tourists will probably only last for the short term. In the medium to longer term, this could be cancelled out by employees staying at local establishments.
The study only focussed only on the “negative” element of the possibility that fewer tourists may visit the area. However, there are a number of positive impacts that also need to be taken into consideration, one of the most important of which the injection into the local economy caused by the construction and operation of the plants. Depending on the value of the construction, the operational costs, and the value of the electricity sold, the total spin-offs would probably generate a net benefit to the local and regional economies.
The direct and indirect spin-offs to the local and regional economies through the initial construction and operation phases in addition to electricity sales, should cancel out any negative effects of fewer tourists to the area. This could then result in a net benefit to the local and regional economies.
It can be concluded that the establishment of the PBMR plant at Koeberg, and the manufacturing of the nuclear fuel at Pelindaba could in the short term have a negative effect on the local economy as fewer tourists may be willing to stay at the local establishments. However, this effect will only apply to the short term. In the medium to longer term, the total effect of the PBMR on the local economy of both areas will be positive.