Considering that over eight million people have visited UNESCO World Heritage site the Robben Island Museum in the past 20 years, the near sinking of a chartered passenger vessel, the Thandi, and the emergency evacuation of around 70 passengers on 15 September is an anomaly. But it has highlighted a problem that has plagued the museum since it first opened to the public in 1997 – to get the some 350,000 visitors per annum safely on and off the island. On Wednesday members of the museum executive and the South African Maritime Authority briefed the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities on the incident. By MARIANNE THAMM.
They talk about the weather a lot; the people tasked with running the ferries and vessels that traverse the choppy eight nautical miles between the iconic Robben Island and the Cape Town harbour.