‘People denied access to public places should file formal complaints’ |28 August 2013
Seychellois citizens who are denied access to public places like hotel establishments and beaches should file their complaints appropriately to help government address the matter, President James Michel has said.
Speaking during the En Moman Avek Prezidan programme on SBC television at the weekend, Mr Michel said it is not enough for people to just complain left, right and centre but those affected should take their responsibility and produce concrete facts to the authorities concerned.
It is to be noted that in the last En Moman programme a few months ago the issue where Seychellois are considered and treated as second class citizen was discussed with President Michel and he said then that this should never happen. But recently there have been reported cases where Seychellois citizens have been refused entry in hotels, access to some beaches is still an issue as well as jobs which are being given to foreigners instead of Seychellois.
Asked what is being done to deal effectively with the situation once and for all, President Michel explained that if a case where entry to a hotel is denied without reason, the person snubbed has the responsibility and duty to bring the matter to the attention of the hotel manager to be given a reason as to why access was denied.
Once this is done and the person afflicted is still not satisfied, he or she has all the right to send a report to the minister responsible for tourism who would investigate the matter further and if investigations prove the hotel is at fault, together with the Ministry of Labour severe action would be taken against the hotel employee concerned. Depending on the severity, this could result in employment termination, the President explained.
“A Seychellois citizen should not be refused entry in any public establishment without valid reasons,” the President stressed.
“I believe that after one or two complaints have been filed appropriately and necessary actions are taken accordingly against those responsible for such attitudes, surely they would all rethink about the way they treat Seychellois citizens,” Mr Michel stressed.
Mr Michel encourages the public to gather concrete facts and to file their complaints to the right authorities if they want the issue to be dealt with accordingly and ensure it does not become rampant.
But the President also highlighted the fact that hotels are also private establishments with their set rules and regulations to be followed such as dress codes and rights reserved to people who are not under the influence of alcohol which members of the public should respect.
“Otherwise if all rules are being respected there is no reason why entry should be denied,” the President insisted.
With regard to access to beaches, Mr Michel said the law specifies that all beaches are public domain up to the high water mark and nobody should deny access to anybody else up to that point.
He pointed out that access can be denied to a private property above that point but not the beach itself.
There again Mr Michel said if a property owner denies people access to the beach, the affected person should file a complaint to the ministry concerned where necessary action would be taken appropriately and if it is found there is a breach of the law, legal action would be taken.
Concerning jobs where foreigners are being given priority over Seychellois, Mr Michel pointed out that our citizens have to change their attitudes towards work and be more responsible when they have been entrusted with a responsibility.
“The government’s policy remains to ensure that Seychellois are given priority for all jobs and foreigners should be considered only if there is no competent Seychellois for the positions,” said the President.
He added that he has instructed the Ministry of Labour to speed up the localisation programmes to ensure more Seychellois are trained to take up various positions being occupied by foreigners.
“But there again the responsibility lies with our citizens to work hard, to be serious, trustworthy and reliable in order to be considered for the different positions that foreigners are occupying,” he stressed.