Tourism Portfolio Committee: Five-Year Strategic Plan; Report on Oversight visits to Northern Cape and Limpopo, Committee Programmes

Committee: Tourism

Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)

Date of Meeting: 23 Aug 2010

Summary

Members received a briefing on the Committee’s Draft Business Plan for the next five years.
The plan outlined the mandate, mission and core objectives of Parliament, as well as the strategic objectives of the Committee. Members questioned the Plan’s list of the main tasks of the Committee. They argued that the job of the Committee was to oversee the Department of Tourism and not to identify and develop tourism.

The Committee briefly discussed its programme for the remainder of the year. Members made inputs and these suggestions were incorporated.


Minutes

Committee Draft Five-Year Strategic Plan (2010-2014)
Mr Kevin Christians, Project Manager, Parliament, briefed the Committee on the Draft Business Plan for the next five years. The Plan outlined the mandate, mission and core objectives of Parliament, as well as the strategic objectives of setting policy direction. Mr Christians emphasised that although this was a business plan for the Committee outlining its main tasks, the Plan remained a working document and would be subject to revisions and additions, and that this was only the first draft.
There were eleven key issues highlighted in the Plan. These included:
•increasing the budget for tourism
•marketing domestic and rural tourism
•capitalising on the FIFA World Cup
•raising the profile of the tourism industry in government and parliament and how tourism can be connected to education
•identifying and developing tourism opportunities
•ensuring the safety of tourists with more effective policing
•understanding how the public works programme could create sustainable jobs in the tourism industry
•improving tourism signage
•improving overall tourism information
•promoting tourism for locals
•investigating the tourism fraternity concept

Mr Christians outlined four key objectives for the Committee to focus on for the next term. These included ensuring that national tourism became a fully-funded mandate, promoting and developing the marketing of local tourism for South Africans, identifying tourism opportunities across the Provinces, and training and empowerment of members.

Discussion
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee regard the report as tabled. It was then agreed that any comments and questions should be submitted to the Committee Secretary by Friday 27 August. He explained that the Draft Business Plan comprised of a summary of key issues which were discussed at the Committee’s workshop; while the initial pages 1-9 of the Plan were objectives of Parliament that had been adopted previously.

Ms M Shinn (DA) questioned the Plan’s list of the main tasks of the Committee. The job of the Committee was to oversee the Department of Tourism and not to identify and develop tourism. The Committee must ensure that the Department of Tourism offered support to the industry.

Mr L Khorai (ANC) agreed with Ms Shinn; however he felt that the Plan’s list of priority areas was relevant for the Committee.

Mr G Krumbock (DA) concurred with Ms Shinn that it was not the role of the Committee to identify and develop tourism opportunities and asked for clarification on the Committee’s role.

Ms M Njobe (COPE) echoed the previous speakers and asked if the confusion over clarity in the report was that the role of the Department of Tourism was mistaken with the role of the Committee.

Mr Christians clarified that the key issues were not what the Committee should do, but what the Committee should ensure is done.

Report on Oversight visits to the Northern Cape and Limpopo
The Chairperson tabled the draft report on Oversight visits to the Northern Cape and Limpopo.

It was agreed that Members would read the report and submit their recommendations and suggestions to the Committee Secretary by Friday, 27 August.

Committee Programmes
The Chairperson tabled the Committee’s revised third term and fourth term programmes.

Ms Shinn asked about the summit to be hosted on 13 October. Would this Summit include the Khoisan community?

The Chairperson replied that no communities had been invited. This summit was proposed to be about tourism in general, which included rural development. The Department of Tourism did plan to have a cultural and heritage tourism summit at another date. The summit was planned to be one of the ways of increasing the profile of tourism by maximising the legacy of tourism during the FIFA World Cup.

Ms C Zikalala (IFP) asked the Chairperson what was meant by the term ‘rural tourism’? Was this tourism in the rural areas?

The Chairperson explained that rural tourism consisted of leisure activities carried out in rural areas and included different types of tourism activities, such as community-based tourism.

The Chairperson continued to explain the draft programme. On 19 October, the Committee would be briefed by South African Tourism on their annual report for the 2009/10 financial year; however, this report had not yet been received by the Committee.

The Chairperson then explained that on the study tour around the Northern Cape and Limpopo, Members had discovered that many areas did not treat tourism as a serious development. Access to some of the experiences and ventures was difficult, particularly during the wet season. On the study tour, the Committee had noticed that the grading was not accurate and in some cases did not appear to monitor the establishment after stars had been assigned. On 9 November, the Committee would be briefed on the grading of establishments.

Ms Njobe asked whether the Committee could make space for some establishments to address the Committee on how they were faring and what challenges they encountered. It was important to get information from the businesses in person, particularly those which were previously disadvantaged, not only from organisations representing these businesses.

Ms Shinn said that the organisation ‘Fairtrade’ would be happy to speak to the Committee and share its successes. Fairtrade worked primarily in rural areas with previously disadvantaged businesses. She also suggested that the Committee could ask the Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP) to share some of their success cases to the Committee.

Mr Khorai moved for the adoption of the programme with the addition of these new ideas.

The third term programme was approved.

The Chairperson felt that this would be a valuable addition to the programme. TEP was an instrument for assisting rural tourism.

Ms Shinn suggested that the programme for 2010 was quite full, and that this addition could be a priority for early 2011.

The Chairperson suggested that Members do some individual research to suggest both South African and worldwide rural businesses.

Ms Njobe supported Ms Shinn that this idea be deferred to 2011.

Invitation
The Chairperson announced that the Committee had been invited to a function by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) on 25 August. This function would strengthen the relationship between the Committee and the TBSCA, and would be a follow-up event after TBCSA’s presentation to the Committee on 17 August. The function planned to outline TBCSA’s plans for growth, feedback on the Tourism Marketing South Africa Levy, and a report on tourism pre- and post the FIFA World Cup.

The decision was taken that the committee should attend this function and arrangements were discussed.

The meeting was adjourned.