UPDATE: Strike 'sabotage' sees Robben Island morning tours cancelled

2020-01-07 09:39 - Selene Brophy
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Robben Island and Table Mountain, Cape Town

Robben Island and Table Mountain, Cape Town (Photo: iStock)

UPDATE: Robben Island Museum employee demonstration continues uninterrupted

Robben Island Museum (RIM) employee representative union, National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) embarked on a legally protected demonstration as of 06 January 2020. In its ninth day, RIM can confirm that operations are proceeding uninterrupted.    

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Robben Island Museum (RIM) confirmed morning tours for Thursday, 9 January at 08:00 and 09:00 had to be cancelled "due to suspected sabotage on RIM owned vessel"

The island issued a statement saying, "The Strike now its fourth day, we can confirm that it has since converted to a full blown strike."

Robben Island Museum employee representative union, National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) embarked on a legally protected demonstration as of 06 January 2020 - with RIM putting contingency measures in place. 

"Unfortunately, there appears to have been possible sabotage with the tampering of one of RIM’s owned vessel that transported staff members from the Island at 06:30 to Nelson Mandela Gateway. This prevented RIM outsourced vessels from docking to board the 08:00 and 09:00 tour," says RIM.

No further delays are being anticipated for the remainder of the day.

"Given the severity of the incident, the matter will be investigated. In the event that possible sabotage is substantiated, RIM will institute necessary human resources (HR), legal and criminal charges."


The Robben Island Museum (RIM) is experiencing a legally protected strike, with contingency measure in place as the world heritage site manages peak season numbers. 


The strike began on Monday, January 6. Wage negotiations have been ongoing since November 2019, with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) demanding a 9% salary increase, as part of a two-year wage agreement. 

The strike includes tour guides, boat crews, marketing and ticket sales. 

RIM has advised security measures have been put in place, and will update accordingly - with no indication as to when the strike will end as yet saying, "The ferries are operating as normal. Nothing has changed with regards to operations as far as now."  

READ: 'Demolish and create our own Ibiza': Has Robben Island lost its reverence?

In November last year, RIM announced that an annual increase will come into effect from 01 June 2020. Robben Island’s standard tour comprises of a ferry return trip, transport on the Island, a guided Island tour and a guided Prison tour.

Robben Island Museum (RIM) will apply a R50 increase on international tour prices and only a R20 increase on local tour prices.

"This will result in an increment from R380 for South African Citizens to R400; whilst Non-South African citizens rate will increase from R550 to R600."

The new standard tariffs will be as follows:

  • R 600 ($43 | €38) for non-South African adults and R 300 ($20 | €16) for non-South African children aged two to 18 years.
  • R 400 for South African adults and R210 for South African children aged two to 18 years.

Important information for a Robben Island Museum tour:

  • Tickets are ONLY sold at Robben Island Museum, Nelson Mandela Gateway, V&A waterfront or through Webtickets as a RIM approved online ticketing platform.
  • A proof of identification must be provided upon a ticket purchase and when boarding the ferry. Positive identification will be checked against the ticket details in order to allow access to the ferries and the Island. Failure to produce corresponding proof (ticket matching the proof of ID) will result in ticket forfeiting.
  • The ticket will only be valid for the date and time specified on the ticket.
  • Robben Island Museum reserves the right to cancel voyages or to change departure times without notice.
  • The ticket is not subject to refunds except if the respective voyage is cancelled by Robben Island Museum or the passenger could not attend due to hospitalisation or mortality. Refunds will only be issued against the return of this ticket and proof of identification. Credit card will be reserved back to the card that was used for the booking.
  • Ticket amendments will be subject to an administration fee as determined by Robben Island Museum. You can only reschedule 48hrs in advance with an administration fee (same day change or charges done 14 days in advance admin fee will be waived)
  • Passengers must arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled times of departure, failure to do so could result in the forfeit of your paid ticket. Boarding gates close 10 minutes before departure time and there will be no refunds or rescheduling of boats if the departure times are missed.

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