Tourism Committee Reports on Tourism Summit, Khayelitsha, North West and Gauteng Visits


07 November 2011
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered its Tourism Summit Report 2011. It was agreed that such a summit would be held twice in a five-year parliamentary term. Members agreed that Parliament did not take tourism seriously and it tended to be an afterthought. From a business point of view, tourism was a growing industry and it generated income for South Africa which paid for the social development that was required. The Committee had to put the industry and its issues on the front burner.

The Draft Khayelitsha Oversight Report was adopted with grammatical and technical amendments. The Draft Provincial Oversight Report was also adopted with grammatical and spelling amendments.

Meeting report

Tourism Summit Report 2011
This Committee Report dealt with the Tourism Summit the Portfolio Committee on Tourism held on 28 February to 1 March 2011 based on the theme: "Working together for better tourism opportunities: An integrated approach to tourism development, growth and transformation”.

Ms Joyce Ntuli, the Committee Researcher, presented a summary of the Report. She touched on some of the submissions that had been made during the Summit but focussed mainly on the resolutions the Committee had taken.

The Chairperson placed the Report before the Committee for consideration and adoption.

Mr L Khorai (ANC) suggested that joint oversight visits by the Committee with other committees of Parliament such as the Portfolio Committees on Arts Culture, Public Works and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs should be added to the list of resolutions contained in the Report, as well as the promotion of tourism at local government level.

Mr G Krumbock (DA) felt that Report was a fair reflection of what had been said at the Summit. He wished to clarify that members were only in agreement that the Report contained what had happened at the Summit and that there was not agreement by all members on the views expressed at the Summit. The point was that there were members who had different points of view than those expressed at the Summit. The Committee was only agreeing on adopting the Report.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee was aware of different inputs that were made and of the differing viewpoints.

Ms C Zikalala (IFP) stated that when the Committee had visited Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, there had been a many complaints. She wished to know what was happening at present in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu. Was it possible for the Committee to do a follow-up to gauge whether improvements had taken place. She noted that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was looking at local owned projects. It was understood that the DTI screened applicants requiring funding. She was not sure whether funding was going to the right people. Perhaps members did not fully understand how DTI sorted applications. She felt that Khula Enterprise Finance Limited and others were not doing what they should.

The Chairperson stated that the Khayelitsha issue would be considered when the Committee dealt with the Khayelitsha Oversight Report.

He noted that the Chairperson of the NCOP had suggested that the Committee should host an annual summit. Was a bi-annual summit not a better idea?

Mr Krumbock stated that a summit every two years was good enough.

Ms Njobe stated that twice in a five-year parliamentary term was good enough.

Mr Khorai also felt that a bi-annual summit was good enough.

The Chairperson stated that it was settled that a summit would be held biannually.

The Committee adopted the Tourism Summit Report 2011.

The Committee Secretary asked whether the Committee wished to debate the Report in the House or whether the Chairperson would merely make a statement about the Report in the National Assembly.

The Chairperson stated that in order to promote tourism it should not be a debate as such but rather that the Committee could give its views on it.

Mr Krumbock agreed that if a debate could assist tourism he was all for it. There were points of mutual agreement and differences of opinion amongst members on the Report.

Ms Njobe also supported a debate if it promoted tourism. She felt that Parliament did not take tourism seriously. She pointed out that questions on tourism forwarded to the House were also not taken seriously.

Mr Krumbock agreed with Ms Njobe on the point raised about tourism questions.

The Chairperson stated that it was the task of the Committee to convince Parliament that tourism was important.

Ms X Makasi also supported a debate on the Report. She also felt that tourism questions even though submitted timeously were not taken seriously.

Ms Njobe noted that she had participated at the Peoples Assembly in Mangaung in September 2011on economic cluster issues and had raised the tourism issue. She stated that when resolutions came up in the plenary little was said on tourism.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would debate the Tourism Summit Report 2011.

Ms Zikalala wondered whether the Department of Tourism realised how members felt. Perhaps the Department and the Committee should meet and discuss the issue that tourism was not being taken seriously.

The Chairperson stated that the Minister and the Deputy Minister were doing their part.

Mr Krumbock stated that every single department and parliamentary committee was important. For example there was no denying that the Departments of Education and the Department of Minerals and Energy were important but it must be remembered that both these Departments spend taxpayers’ money. Tourism on the other hand attracted visitors to SA who spent money. Hence tourism generated income for SA.  From a business point of view, tourism was important and it was a growing industry. President Zuma had highlighted the importance of tourism. The Committee should put the industry and the issues on the front burner. Tourism tended to be an afterthought. Tourism generated income which paid for the social development that was required.

Khayelitsha Oversight Report
The Committee effected technical changes to the Report and it was adopted as amended.

North West and Gauteng Provincial Oversight Report July-August 2011
The Committee considered the Report.

The Chairperson requested the Committee Researcher provide a comparison of the two visits by illustrating the differences between a predominantly rural and predominantly urban province. 

Ms Ntuli fulfilled the request by way of highlighting the different challenges that the two provinces encountered. For example in the North West the N12 national road was in a bad state. It hindered the growth of tourism as roads were the only way to get to the North West. There were no flights to the North West. Travelling distances between places of interest was also vast and the bad condition of roads did not help. Some municipalities did not have tourism offices and information flow was also a problem. Lack of infrastructure was another challenge. There were issues of capacity with the Department and municipalities.
Gauteng on the other hand had a shortage of electricity. Applications for transport permits took long to process. The tools of attraction were present in Gauteng. The travelling distances between attractions were not as bad as in the North West. There were also corrupt practices in the transport industry.

The Chairperson stated that it seemed that the differences between urban and rural challenges were clear. He emphasised that the N12 national road in the North West was in a dire state and it was unacceptable. The issue needed to be attended to. A national road was different from other roads which were funded by provinces and local government. The shortage of electricity in Gauteng was also unacceptable. He had spoken to a taxi operator and had been informed that it took almost a year to obtain transport permits.
He noted that in the old homeland areas there was a lack of road development. Would funding for road development come from the equitable share or would it be funded as a project?

Ms Njobe stated that the roads in the Eastern Cape were also a problem. The roads in the old Bantustans were in a bad state. Poverty was also rife.

The Committee effected technical changes to the Report.

The Oversight Report was adopted as amended.

The Committee Secretary asked if members wished to debate the Report in the House.

Mr Krumbock stated that he did not think it appropriate to debate a provincial report on the two provinces.

Ms Njobe agreed that the Committee did not debate provincial reports.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee rather make a five to ten minute statement on the Report in the House.

Committee Minutes
The Committee adopted meeting minutes of 11 and 18 October and 1 November 2011.
The meeting was adjourned.


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