Department of Tourism 5-year plan and 2010 FIFA World Cup readiness: briefing


17 August 2009
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The delegation from the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, SA Tourism and the Tourism Grading Council attended the briefing. The Department provided an overview of tourism trends in South Africa. Transformation in the tourism sector, and enterprise and skills development were addressed. Strategic objectives of the newly established Department were highlighted. Planning for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 was then discussed. Challenges regarding the implementation of the World Cup were presented, and lessons learned from the Confederations Cup were detailed. The financial budget was presented. The Committee asked questions about the development of tourism in the rural areas, skills training and subsidies for small businesses. Accommodation, transport and environmental concerns regarding the World Cup in 2010 were raised.

Meeting report

The Deputy Director-General of the National Department of Tourism, Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, began the presentation by detailing the roles played by the various tourism institutions. The importance of co-ordination between the Department of Tourism (NDT) and various other departments, such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Transport (DOT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), was highlighted. It was emphasised that the NDT had now been established as a separate department, being split from the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. A draft structure was currently in place, detailing the roles of the NDT. An overview of performance and trends was provided. South Africa had outperformed global tourism growth rates, with arrivals to South Africa growing by 5.5% in 2008 compared to a growth of 1.3% in international arrivals. The number of foreign tourists visiting South Africa had increased steadily over the years, with 9.6 million foreign arrivals in 2008. Tourism contributed 8.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008. The recession had resulted in a decline of 2.5% in arrivals during the first three months of 2009. Other challenges include health concerns, such as swine flu, and crime.

Addressing transformation of the sector, she noted that although larger players in the industry were adopting Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies, it was more difficult to monitor the multitude of smaller businesses. However, sector codes acquired legal status during the first quarter of 2009, implying that government institutions were only able to procure through organisations complying with transformation policies. Challenges for transformation include the contradiction of two policies, namely the Preferential Procurement Act and BEE, the high turnover rate of black managers due to demand, and limited investment in skills development. Ms Nhlumayo then discussed enterprise and skills development, highlighting that numerous small businesses had been trained in various business skills (see document for various figures).

The members were urged to attend the next tourism expo which would be held from the 19 to 21 September in Durban, and was aiming to attract 20 000 learners. With regards to quality assurance, establishments were graded on an annual basis with a total of 1852 currently graded. Challenges include access for disabled individuals, quality assurance beyond accommodation grading, the reduction of visa turn around time, and the implementation of tourism guidelines for the industry. Medium-term strategic objectives were highlighted. Departmental priorities include the development of the national tourism strategy, reviewing the national tourism legislation, growing and transforming the tourism sector, sustainable job creation, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and rural development. Quantitative and qualitative targets were presented with regards to training, implementation of strategy, and number of arrivals. The members were informed that a hospitality investment conference would take place on the 4 November in Johannesburg, and urged to attend.

Ms Nhlumayo then presented an overview of the organising plan for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. She emphasised that there had been a lack of investment in soft infrastructure, such as Human Resources and Marketing, as most of the capital expenditure had been allocated to hard infrastructure, such as the building of stadiums. Focus areas considered in planning for 2010 include marketing, information management, upgrading of attractions, service quality, transport, safety and accommodation. Preparation progress in these various focus areas was discussed (see document for details and figures). Currently 35 352 rooms out of 55 000 had been contracted as required by Match. An overview of events that South African Tourism (SAT) would be participating in to promote the World Cup was presented. It was emphasised that the NDT and SAT were members of the Tourism 2010 Cluster which ensured co-ordination between various forums and working groups. Challenges regarding the implementation of the World Cup were then presented. These include limited co-ordination between national, provincial and city levels. A limited budget, limited focus on quality of service delivery, and lack of marketing were some of the concerns raised. The lessons learned from the Confederations Cup were then detailed. Despite good levels of attendance, challenges included poor crowd management, unclear signage, inadequate training of volunteers, limited marketing in participating countries, lack of tourist information, complaints regarding the ticketing system and limited capacity of airlines to carry luggage.

Regarding the new NDT tourism strategy, a workshop would be held on the 6 August to formulate a vision and mission, with another workshop scheduled for 1 September. A draft for public comment would be released in September.
The acting Director General of the National Department of Tourism, Mr Dirk van Schalkwyk, presented the financial budget, as well as a break-down of expenditure (see document). The Chair requested to see the financial breakdown for areas of expansion. He was referred to slide 59, titled “Additional requirement” by Mr van Schalkwyk.

Mr Sugen Pillay, Global Manager of Events for SAT, then introduced the diski dance. It was a dance created by SAT to promote the World Cup, and was meant to showcase the passionate and welcoming nature of South Africans. A toolkit, in the form of a flash disk, was handed out to members, incorporating promotional material created by SAT.

Ms T Tshivhase (ANC) queried how the rural areas would benefit from the 2010 World Cup, and what plans were in place to attract tourists to these areas.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that a specific directorate was being set up to deal with rural tourism development. This was reiterated by Ms Nhlumayo, who stated that the directorate would identify and address challenges regarding rural tourism. A service provider had recently been appointed to develop a strategy with regards to culture, service and heritage tourism.


Ms S Nhlumayo agreed that it was important to promote craft, but added that other artistic activities such as dance and music should also be endorsed. It was explained that the figures for Gauteng were not zero, with a total of 19 651 rooms available in Gauteng, as shown higher up on the slide (slide 29). B&Bs would be included as accommodation during the World Cup, with a total of 8 037 having been contracted to date. However, home stays were not being supported at the present time.

Ms M Njobe (COPE) stated that she would like to be informed if a meeting was cancelled or postponed, as the previous week she and the DA member waited unnecessarily for the cancelled meeting to commence. A request was made that the acronyms in the documents could be clarified in a glossary. Ms Njobe was concerned that the projected figures mentioned in the presentation were too optimistic. Concern was raised that people in the rural areas do not benefit from the tourism industry. Projects that were initiated in the rural areas tend to die away as they were not sustained, and there was inadequate marketing for the rural areas. The quality and applicability of tourism training provided in schools was questioned. It was suggested that learners should be exposed to places of cultural significance during school outings. Ms Njobe questioned how unemployed youth in the rural areas could access training in tourism, and what the selection criteria were.

Ms Nhlumayo agreed with the importance of promoting domestic tourism. With regards to the adequacy of training, she admitted that there was a disjuncture between what was being taught at school and what was required by industry. Ambassador training for volunteers was being organised together with the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

Ms Lisa Hosking, General Manager of Operations at the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP), addressed training needs, stating that individuals were trained for and for beyond 2010. During 2009 TEP was aiming to train 5 000 small tourism businesses. TEP had a craft retail programme, and facilitated market access, however the training was concerned with business skills, rather than craft skills. She emphasised that buyers preferred to interact with organisations, rather than individual crafters. Therefore TEP aimed to facilitate about 3 000 cells during 2009, which represent crafters.

Mr G Krumbock (DA) queried whether a million new jobs had been created in the tourism industry or whether there were a million jobs in total (slide 7). The definition of “participant” was queried. The number of tourists attending the Confederations Cup in France, Korea and Japan (slide 39) was questioned. Mr Krumbock expressed concern that there were an inadequate number of beds currently available for the World Cup, as a total of approximately 350 000 was required. The difficulty of obtaining tickets for the Confederations Cup was noted, and should be considered in further planning of ticket purchases for the World Cup. The lack of co-ordination at airports during the British Lions tour was heavily criticised, resulting in congestion, long queues and missed flights. The importance of 2010 as a marketing opportunity was emphasised. Mr Krumbock highlighted the need to reduce littering, and queried whether there was any interdepartmental co-ordination to ensure cleanliness within the cities.

Ms Nhlumayo replied that the tourism industry supported a total of a million jobs in South Africa, through both direct and indirect means. The term “participants” included team members and South Africans attending matches, but about 450 000 international visitors were expected to visit South Africa for the World Cup. However, this number excluded international visitors who were not specifically arriving in South Africa for the World Cup. With regards to accommodation, establishments needed to sign contracts in order to be officially recognised. The 116 000 rooms mentioned in the presentation only referred to graded accommodation, however there were numerous ungraded establishments available to tourists. Ms Nhlumayo admitted that there were some difficulties at the airports, but that many of these were currently under construction, thereby contributing to the difficulties experienced during the British Lions tour.

Mr van Schalkwyk responded to Mr Krumbock saying that bilaterals had been set up with South African Airways (SAA), Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and FIFA to address congestion at the airports. He noted that waste management was a target area of the Department of Environmental Affairs, but that the NDT would work closely with that department on this.

Ms Nhlumayo referred to “Greening 2010” which was concerned with ensuring that South Africa was environmentally friendly. However, she admitted that most emphasis had been placed on greening stadiums, and that more emphasis needed to be placed on greening broader areas.

Mr B Zulu (ANC) stated that addressing crime should be a first priority for the World Cup, and that there was an inadequate number of police. The poor condition of the roads in rural areas was criticised, acting as a barrier for tourists to these areas. He queried why traditional dance was not promoted above the diski dance. Lastly, Mr Zulu commented on the lack of electricity in the rural areas, as this prevented people from watching soccer matches on television.

Mr van Schalkwyk noted that maintenance of roads fell into the provincial mandate. Ms Nhlumayo added that once a proper analysis of rural tourism challenges had been conducted, these findings could be presented to other departments, such as those concerned with road infrastructure.

Mr Pillay responded to Mr Zulu stating that the diski dance was not meant to undermine traditional dance, but was meant to encapsulate and convey the passionate and welcoming spirit of all South Africans.

Ms Nhlumayo noted that municipalities were able to apply to the SABC to assist in setting up reception areas in the rural areas, so that the soccer games could be watched during the World Cup.

The Chair emphasised the collaboration required among various departments, such as tourism, police and conservation. He queried whether packages were being created for tourists to incorporate other attractions, such as visits to game parks.

Ms Nhlumayo replied that game parks and transfrontier parks were being included into packages.

Ms Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) asked if the rumour that subsidies would be available for individuals to upgrade their establishments was true, and if so, what the criteria were.

Ms X Makasi (ANC) also asked whether subsidies would be available for the upgrading of establishments. She queried how the six people chosen to attend hospitality training in Canada were selected.

Ms Nhlumayo responded that individuals chosen to attend training in Canada were selected from a database of unemployed graduates. More individuals should be encouraged to register on the database so that they would become aware of future opportunities.

Ms J Maluleke (ANC) wanted to know how rural businesses could obtain the criteria for grading establishments. She asked to what extent disabled people were included in training.

Ms Nivashnee Govender, Operations Manager of the Tourism Grading Council, responded that establishments were eligible for funding over three years through TEP, if the establishment had contracted with Match. With regards to investment, there was no funding available for larger maintenance. The Grading Council shared information on grading with the Provincial Tourism Offices via workshops. Apart from a website, assessors impart information to the rural areas in person. 

With regards to incentives, Ms Nhlumayo mentioned tourism incentives which were administered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

The Chair questioned whether the private sector was adequately accommodating visitors who were less wealthy. He wondered whether practical skills such as catering and waitering could be taught in schools so that individuals could enter the tourism job market upon leaving Matric. It was announced that Lucas Radebe had been appointed as the ambassador for tourism.

Mr Dirk van Schalkwyk responded that the middle class had been considered in planning for the World Cup. The Department of Education needed to address practical training at school level.

The meeting was adjourned.

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