First-Term Committee Programme, 2010 Annual Committee Activity Report

Committee: Tourism

Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)

Date of Meeting: 17 Jan 2011

Summary

Members considered and approved their programme for the first term. There was a brief discussion about possible destinations for the Committee’s study tour. The Annual Committee Activity Report of 2010 was tabled but was not considered.


Minutes

Opening remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson mentioned that 2010 had been a wonderful year for tourism in South Africa. The FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup had been a phenomenal success. It was hoped that the year ahead would be successful as well.

The Chairperson advised that the Committee should continue to perform oversight in order to check that things were as they should be. Unemployment was a problem that government was grappling with and the Committee should do its part in trying to boost tourism so that new jobs could be created. The business sector in tourism was also looking towards the Committee to ensure that tourism business was forthcoming.

Government priorities was transformation in the tourism industry, inclusive growth and the issue of better alignment between national, provincial and local government so as to optimise efficiency. The planned Tourism Summit which appeared on the Committee’s Programme was a part of the solution. It provided an opportunity for interaction between various government departments as well as with the private sector. Tourism was considered transversal and was affected by various other departments.
The Chairperson stated that he would welcome suggestions by Members on what would be the best direction for the Committee for the year ahead.

Committee Programme First Term 2011
Mr Jerry Boltina, Committee Secretary, stated that at the end of 2010 the Office of the House Chairperson had provided the Committee with a programme for the first term of 2011. The Management Committee of the Committee had considered parameters and had come up with a Draft Programme for the Committee for the first term of 2011. He presented the Programme to the Committee and pointed out on which days meetings were scheduled and what each meeting’s agenda entailed.
Mr Boltina had pointed out that from the 5-8 April 2011 the Committee would be undertaking an oversight visit to the North West Province and Soweto.

Ms J Terblanche (DA) sought clarity as whether that week (5-8 April 2011) was a constituency week.

Mr Boltina replied that Mr Cedric Frolick (ANC) House Chairperson had set aside the 4-8 April 2011 as an additional committee period to be used by committees. He agreed to double check the dates. In 2010,
the Committee had not been given the opportunity to undertake any international study tours. The powers that be had stated that perhaps in 2011 the Committee could undertake such a tour. Members could be embark on an international study tour either in July or August 2011. Vietnam was being considered as a possible destination.

Ms M Njobe (COPE) was pleased that an oversight visit to the North West Province and Soweto was scheduled. The visit would enable the Committee to reach all levels of people who wished to participate in tourism. She suggested that oversight visits to different provinces be scheduled every term. Emerging businesses in tourism need to be encouraged. Successful businesses should be lauded and lessons could be learnt from them. Why was Vietnam chosen as a possible destination for the Committee’s international study tour? Did Vietnam have a successful tourism industry?
Ms Njobe furthermore asked whether the meeting scheduled for the 18 April 2011 would not require more time as there were many participants invited to the meeting. The South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), the National Department of Tourism and National Treasury was expected to make inputs during the meeting. 

The Chairperson replied that the issue to be discussed was about infrastructure for tourism development. Infrastructure plans for tourism could not go ahead without National Treasury having a final say.  Even municipal infrastructure grants did not include allocations for tourism. Oversight visits to other provinces would be considered if possible. Vietnam had been chosen as a possible destination because it was considered an emerging country as far as tourism was concerned. .

Mr Boltina clarified that in total 4 countries were being considered as possible destinations. Vietnam was one of the leading candidates as it had a good track record on intergovernmental relations regarding tourism.

The Chairperson referred to the Tourism Summit which the Committee was hosting on 28 February and 1 March 2011 and stated that the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) should be invited to participate as well.

Mr Boltina responded that correspondence had been sent to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations regarding their participation. He expected to hear from the Select Committee in the not too distant future.

The Chairperson stated that the question was whether government was optimising opportunities in disadvantaged areas. Blockages needed to be identified for emerging entrepreneurs. The choice of Vietnam as an international study tour destination was by no means finalised. The best option where SA could learn the most on how to deal with its tourism issues would be chosen. He pointed out that in choosing a country to visit one needed to consider language constraints.

Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) suggested the use of an interpreter in countries where language was an issue.

The Draft Committee Programme for the First Term 18 January 2011-19 April 2011 was approved by the Committee.

The Chairperson stated that if Members wished to make additions to the Committee’s Programme it could be added to subsequent terms.

Annual Committee Activity Report of 2010
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would only table the Report for now. It would be considered at a later time. He informed Members that he was yet to complete an overview of the Report. Members were encouraged to make inputs on the Report if they so wished.

Minutes dated 16 November 2010
The Chairperson tabled the minutes dated 16 November 2010 for consideration.

Ms Njobe referred to the concerns of the Committee about what recourse it had if it was of the view that certain international agreements had no benefit to the country. Specific reference was made to Section 231(3) of the Constitution which provided only for the ratification of international agreements by Parliament. Members could not make inputs to international agreements. She asked whether the Department of Tourism had responded to the concern that had been raised by the Committee.

Ms Manganye (ANC) stated that the minutes correctly reflected what had taken place in the meeting. The concern of the Committee was correctly stated.

The Chairperson stated that the Minister had not been present in the meeting to give a response.

Ms Makasi agreed that the concern was correctly reflected.

The Chairperson reiterated that there was no exact response given.

The Committee Researcher added that international agreements fell within the ambit of the Minister. The agreements had no financial implications in any event.

The Committee adopted the minutes without any changes.

The meeting was adjourned.