The department of economic development, environment and tourism has expressed concern about attacks on tourists visiting the province.
The worry came after two tourists from Germany were allegedly robbed of their belongings, including laptops, cameras and an undisclosed amount in cash. The incident allegedly occurred while the visitors were fast sleep in their cottages on Wednesday.
Departmental head Vusanani Dlamini said such attacks would not be tolerated. Such "unfortunate and barbaric behaviour" continued to tarnish the province and country's image as a tourist destination of choice, he said.
"I call upon law enforcement agencies to deal very harshly with anyone caught involved in this criminal activity," Dlamini said. "The law must take its course and these cruel people should receive harsh sentences."
He said attacks on tourists might hinder job creation and badly affect the province's economy.
"People must be aware that tourism has been identified as one of the drivers of job creation in the province. "So if we tarnish our image, then we will continue to have challenges of job creation and fighting poverty. We are confident that the law enforcement agencies will work tirelessly to ensure that those who are guilty are brought to book."
Dlamini vowed there would be no mercy shown to criminals.