South African Tourism has denied the release of rising crime figures will affect its growth in the UK market.

The figures, which were released by the South African government, reveal that the number of murders has increased by 2.4% to 19,202 in the last year, while car hijackings and residential burglaries are up 6% and 25.4% respectively.

South African Tourism manager UK Lebo Mokhesi said measures being taken by the government will ensure the destination’s target of attracting 506,000 UK visitors this year will still be met.

She added: “Crime is not limited to South Africa. The best we can do is engage with the problem and tell customers what the government is doing to tackle it.

“The initiatives the government is taking are now being implemented and we hope they will stabilise things.”

Mokhesi added no extra cash will be added to the £2 million allocated for this year’s marketing budget.

The money will be used to fund a two-week trade roadshow visiting London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester in August and a South African festival in London in September.