Department of Tourism Annual Report 2008/09: Briefing


09 November 2009
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by the Department of Tourism on its Annual Report for the financial year 2008/09, which pointed out that this Report was drawn for the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and which therefore extracted only those issues related to tourism. The Committee asked the delegation to focus on equitable growth, poverty reduction and sustainable job creation issues. The Department touched upon the budget expenditure, economic classifications and social responsibility spending. The Department had received an unqualified audit from the Auditor General, with no matters of emphasis. The Key Performance Areas for Programme 1: Administration, Programme 4: Tourism and Programme 6: Social Responsibility were outlined.

Members asked how the Department was publicising its call centre, asked that the presenters expand on issues of rural development, and the benefit of the 2010 World Cup to rural people, and also noted that the accommodation grading seemed to exclude small enterprises in rural areas. The Department undertook to provide further information in writing on these issues and noted that there were projects related to rural areas.  Members also asked for a breakdown of the areas on which the training was focused, how many women and disabled people were involved, how many of those trained were operating businesses at present, and how the Department could encourage growth and develop rural people's interest in tourism. Members also questioned whether there were now more flights to national parks, what the Department was doing to develop relationships and discuss issues with the Departments of Transport and Public Enterprises, and what were the problems around grading. Members were also interested in what would happen after training of the tour hosts, what the training comprised, including whether any international languages were being taught, what the greening framework entailed, and how long the jobs were likely to last. Other questions related to whether there was still a preponderance of tourism in three provinces, what the Department was doing to address this, how Lucas Radebe would be promoting the brand and requested that the black economic empowerment  scorecard be provided.

Meeting report

Department of Tourism Annual Report 2008/09
The Chairperson (Mr D Gumede, ANC) asked that the accounting officers should focus on their mandate of equitable growth, poverty reduction and the creation of sustainable jobs. He also asked that matters relating solely to tourism were to be focused on due to time constraints.

Mr Dirk van Schalkwyk, Acting Director General: Tourism, Department of Tourism, noted that the presentation was developed based on the Annual Report of the previously named Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), and as such he would try to focus on matters solely related to tourism.

He therefore outlined the budget expenditure review, Economic Classification and Social Responsibility Programmes (SRP). He noted that the Department had received an unqualified audit from the Auditor General, with no matters of emphasis. Key Performance Areas (KPAs) for Programme 1: Administration, Programme 4: Tourism and Programme 6: Social Responsibility were outlined (see attached document for details)

The Chairperson asked how the Department publicised the existence of a call centre.

The Chairperson congratulated the Department on the unqualified audit.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that the Department had recognised that publicity was a problem. SA Tourism was responsible for the co-ordination of provincial centres in a bid to integrate the different call centres into one unit, and this would be ready by mid-December 2009.

Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) endorsed the congratulations and added the report was very good and simple, but that it neglected to talk to issues of rural development. The presentation was amorphous and did not specifically focus on rural development. Concern was raised over the fact that there appeared to be specific targeting of sustainable livelihood in rural areas. The supposed benefits of the 2010 World Cup to rural people was not alluded to. Accommodation grading seemed to exclude Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) operators in rural areas, as no resources were available.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that the Department was addressing these issues in the interim period and that according to the statistics 236 projects were related to rural areas. He added that the social responsibility programmes were very geared towards rural development. The Department had audited what was available in the provinces, but was still dependant on provinces to provide accurate information, and as a result would ask the provinces for information on SMME operations in rural areas, and forward it to the Committee. Information on the grading of rural accommodation from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) would be forwarded to the Committee.

Ms M Shinn (DA) asked for a breakdown what areas SMME training had focused on. Out of the total of 4163 SMMEs trained, she asked how many were operational.

Ms Aneme Malan, Acting Deputy Director General: Tourism Research Policy Monitoring & Evaluation, Department of Tourism, replied that training focused on business skills, mentorship, toolkits related to quality assurance and business administration. The Tourism Enterprise Project (TEP) did the training and focused on SMMEs that showed sustainability. This programme was spread across all the nine provinces and approximately 50% of those receiving training were Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDIs). The Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP) sought to give all these SMMEs market access and guidance.

Ms T Tshivhase (ANC) asked how the Department could encourage growth and develop rural people's interest in tourism.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that the Department’s strategy, under development, had a specific chapter that dealt with rural development and cultural and heritage resources.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) referred to slide 15 and stated that the target of 16% on the first point was exceeded, since 20% had been achieved. She asked why the presentation said that the target was not met. A breakdown of distribution with regards to slide 29 was asked for. She asked whether additional flights had increased access to rural destinations, as these areas were where the majority of national parks were located. The rural and urban distribution of jobs created and training was also requested.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that he would forward the information on the SMME spread to the Committee and would also ask TEP to do a presentation for the Committee. He noted that airline access was related to infrastructure issues, as some of the small rural airports were only equipped to handle certain types of aircraft, so here the Department would link up with the Departments of Transport and Public Enterprises (DPE). The  vacancy rate target on slide 15 was 16%, and since the Department had had a 20% vacancy rate, it had fallen short of reaching the target.

Ms J Manganyane (ANC) asked how many black women were in senior management posts. She asked whether the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) had any disabled people in it. The relationship with the Department of Transport (DoT) was questioned, as synchronisation between the two departments was critical. The question of whether only big cities were being targeted as tourism destinations was raised.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that there were problems around resources to do grading as the TGCSA only had a budget of R6 million. However, provincial evaluators would be appointed by January to oversee grading. Disabled people were part of the TGCSA and approximately 55 out 116 senior managers were women. The Minister of Tourism had called for a meeting with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Transport as there was great concern over the application for permits for bus and taxi operators fro transportation during the 2010 World Cup, and it was agreed to form a task team to ensure the permit system worked smoothly. Concern over fuel for aircraft was also raised during this meting and the DPE and DoT were dealing with the issue.

Ms Bulelwa Setu, Acting Deputy Director General:Tourism Growth, DT, stated that the Department had managed to influence the airlift strategy.

Ms C Zikalala (IFP) stated that 129 tour guides were trained by SA Host and asked what happened after their training in terms of employment and departmental assistance. She asked whether tour guides were trained in an international language. She asked what the 2010 greening framework actually entailed.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that in terms of 2010, “greening” referred to waste management and that the Department was dealing with the FIFA Local Organising Committee over this issue. Social Responsibility projects were looking at providing short term employment, presently centred on removing rats from stadiums. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) was assisting in ensuring that only indigenous trees were planted at stadiums. The Department could supply the Committee with exact data on jobs through its online tracking function.

Mr Jonga Kuhlane, Director: Quality Management & SRPP, DT, added that every project approved 30% of funds for jobs that needed to be created, and projects came from the Municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). People were, at the least, employed for a year at a minimum of R60 per day.

Mr van Schalkwyk interjected that training was linked to the type of project and that if the project was a construction one, then the training would be linked to that. The training provided was accredited and approximately 7% of project budgets were allocated to training. The Department was trying to address language issues by developing interfaces with other governments in order to have reciprocal training programmes for tour guides. This initiative was acknowledged as being limited.

Ms Setu added that the Department was also working closely with provinces in identifying people for training. Last year 39 tour guides were sent to Spain for Spanish language training, 19 were sent to the Netherlands for project management training and the University of Stellenbosch trained staff in policy development.

The Chairperson stated that there was a problem of skewed tourism in the country as the Western Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng were the main tourism spots. He asked whether this had changed, and if not, what was being done about it.

The Chairperson questioned the transformation in the industry and the benefits to SMMEs. He asked whether profiling of tourists’ reasons for visiting was done, as this could provide information on why they were coming and what they were expecting. Information on whether many tourists came for reasons of cultural tourism was requested. He asked what plans were in place to continue the tourism momentum of 2010, and how Lucas Radebe could be effectively used as a brand ambassador for South African Tourism.

Mr van Schalkwyk replied that the Department had niche products, looking at continuing the momentum derived from 2010 tourism. The spread of the tourism industry still favoured the Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal, with Gauteng leading. The situation had not changed over the years and was of concern. The need to get alternative products out in the other provinces was necessary, but this was linked to infrastructure. Transformation in terms of ownership had not significantly occurred in the tourism industry. SA Tourism had conducted a study on tourist objectives, which addressed where the market was in South Africa and where money should be spent internationally. Lucas Radebe was working with SA Tourism to market the country overseas. Black Economic Empowerment compliance needed to be looked at and could be properly enforced now that the Department actually had the power to do so. SA Tourism could come before the Committee to address these issues in more detail.

The Chairperson thanked the delegation and asked that the Department furnish the Committee with its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scorecard in order to evaluate BEE participation in the tourism industry. Cultural tourism needed to be facilitated as it was a missed opportunity. As tourism was an economic driver, synergy between different departments also was needed.

The meeting was adjourned.


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