The Committee considered its Committee Report on Department of Tourism Budget Vote 35. The Chairperson encouraged Members to make recommendations where needed. Members raised the fact that the time allocated for the Department of Tourism briefing on its Strategic Plan had been wholly inadequate. The Committee agreed to meet with the Department of Tourism during Parliament’s third or fourth quarter in order to obtain answers to some of the issues raised by Members which could not be covered at the briefing. Members wanted statistics on various facets of tourism such as how many actual jobs were created by tourism and why people came to
Committee Programme for 2012 Second Quarter
The Committee Secretary, Mr Jerry Boltina, took the Committee through the Draft Programme.
Mr S Farrow (DA) stated that he did not have a problem with the Programme other than it lacked some detail. Referring to the Tourism Indaba taking place 11-14 May 2012 to which the Committee was invited, the Programme did not stipulate how many of those Indaba days Members would be attending. Similarly planned oversight visits to
Mr Boltina responded that the Committee had received the go-ahead to attend the Tourism Indaba. The Committee had been unable to attend the 2011 Tourism Indaba due to its clash with municipal elections. Members could attend the Indaba from the 11 to 14 May 2012.
The Chairperson stated that the presence of Members at the Indaba was important as it was an opportunity for Members to interact with stakeholders on the ground. Meeting the provinces was important. The Committee needed to get a grasp of the industry at the Indaba. He considered the length of time for the Indaba not nearly enough for Members to interact with stakeholders.
Mr R Shah (DA) stated that Members did not have to stay 24/7 at the Indaba. Members could leave and return.
The Chairperson encouraged Members not to incur wasteful expenditure. If Members intended only to stay one day then bookings could not be made for three days.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) supported the Committee Programme. She congratulated the Minister for inviting Members to the Indaba. She would be glad to attend. She was also glad that oversight was to be done in the
The Chairperson suggested that each member at the Indaba interact with his or her relevant province plus an additional province so as to cover all provinces.
The Committee agreed to the suggestion made by the Chairperson.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) agreed that it was indeed a privilege to be invited to the Indaba but asked whether the provincial legislature had also been invited. It was the provincial legislature that oversaw the provinces and it was in the provinces where the action took place. She was still unhappy about the time that had been allocated for the National Department of Tourism (NDT) briefing on its Strategic Plan and Budget the previous week. A two and a half hour meeting was not nearly enough time for such a task. She appealed that in future more time be allocated to a briefing of that nature.
The Chairperson agreed that a day should be set aside to deal with the NDT’s Strategic Plan and Budget. He felt that some of the work of the NDT was perhaps a duplication of the work of SA Tourism. The NDT had stated that its work on international tourism covered regions incorporating more than one country. SA Tourism on the other hand focussed on specific countries. Would the specific countries not be covered when dealing with regions? He felt it to be a duplication of work and an inefficient use of funds. He agreed that more time was needed to deal with the NDT’s Strategic Plan and Budget. When the briefing documents were read thorough, other issues surfaced. Perhaps another meeting with the NDT should be scheduled to deal with unresolved issues arising from the Strategic Plan and Budget. One of the unresolved issues was how the NDT intended to improve linkages between the different spheres of government.
Mr F Bhengu (ANC) agreed with the sentiments expressed by Ms Njobe and the Chairperson. Provision should be made in the Committee Programme to interrogate the NDT. An unresolved issue for him was why the NDT was using consultants to perform work under Programme Two of the NDT.
The Chairperson referred to the scheduled oversight visits to be undertaken to provinces and stated that parliamentary committee chairpersons in the provinces and Members of the Executive Committee (MECs) should be invited to perform oversight along with the Committee. The intention was to foster better relations and to prevent the Committee from getting hostile receptions.
Mr Boltina explained that when provincial oversight was undertaken, letters were sent to the Premier of the province, the Speaker of the legislature, the MEC involved and the municipality of the area. He noted that even though letters were sent to the provincial speakers, they did not communicate the message to the chairpersons of provincial legislatures.
The Chairperson stated that in the same way that the Committee wished to be received and treated in a courteous manner, Members should also be courteous and decent to their counterparts in the provinces.
The Committee adopted the Committee Programme.
Committee Report on Budget Vote 35: Tourism
The Chairperson requested Members read the Report and make recommendations.
Mr Shah commented that it was a good Draft Report but some spelling and grammar needed to be corrected.
Ms Njobe asked which approach the Committee would take with the Report.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would deal with the Draft Report page by page.
Ms Joyce Ntuli, Committee Researcher, addressed the Chairperson and pointed out that he had raised certain issues on International Tourism and Domestic Tourism.
Mr Farrow agreed that there were issues which needed to be included in the Draft Report such as the duplication of work done by provinces and municipalities.
The Chairperson proceeded to take the Committee through the Draft Report page by page and encouraged Members to raise issues where needed.
The Chairperson asked how many jobs were actually created in tourism. He asked should the Committee not be given figures on the number of jobs created by tourism. Exact figures would be great but if not available estimates would suffice.
Ms Ntuli said that the figures for jobs created by the NDT in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) were contained in the Biannual Report. The targeted amount of projects was 45 and the figure had been surpassed as it had attained 60 projects. The NDT Strategic Plan and Budget did not speak to jobs.
The Chairperson also asked what was done about assistance to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
Ms Ntuli said that Biannual Report had noted that the target of SMMEs to be supported was 3 351 and those actually supported were 1 152. There was thus performance below 50%. During the briefing on the NDT’s Strategic Plan, it came to light that the NDT was far from meeting its target on supporting SMMEs. Only two SMMEs had been supported.
Mr Farrow pointed out that a great deal of the work by the NDT depended on work done by other departments. He wished this to be reflected in the recommendations. The Committee needed to do oversight over the memorandums of understanding (MOU) between the NDT and other government departments.
He noted that the statistics used for tourism were not great. Thumb sucking was taking place for statistics. The Committee needed to know why people visited SA. Was it for pleasure, holiday or business? Research and development as well as statistics were very important.
Mr Shah said that alignment was needed for departments of the NDT at national, provincial and local level. Infrastructure was important for tourism. Complete alignment was needed.
Ms Ntuli said that surveys used to be done by SA Tourism but this had stopped. SA Tourism used to have quarterly reports on this.
The Chairperson said that SA Tourism should be questioned on why there were no longer quarterly reports on surveys.
Mr Farrow asked that they include in the recommendations that the airlift strategy had expired.
Mr Shah asked if an assessment had been done on what skills were needed in the hospitality industry. The issue was about what government and the industry had done thus far.
Ms Ntuli said that in 2011 the Committee had recommended that a skills audit be done on the tourism industry. Thus far no such skills audit had been done.
Mr Shah said that once the Department implemented its budget there would be a demand for skills. Had the NDT done an audit of what skills was needed.
The Chairperson asked that the recommendations include that a skills audit needed to be done.
Mr Bhengu asked how many of the recommendations made by the Committee in 2011 had been met by the NDT. The Committee needed to follow up before the end of the 2012/13 financial year whether the recommendations made had been taken on board by the NDT.
The Chairperson proposed that the Committee have a meeting with the NDT later in 2012 perhaps during the third or fourth quarter of Parliament. He asked the Committee Secretary to note the proposal.
Ms Njobe said that Mr Kingsley Makhubela seemed to be a willing Director General yet the Committee did not invite him to address the Committee more often.
Ms Zikalala agreed that the Department could have appeared before the Committee more often.
Mr Shah asked why the NDT needed to use consultants.
Ms Ntuli said that the NDT had explained that it had needed to use engineering consultants for EPWP as the NDT did not have engineers on its payroll. Consultants had also been used to draft MOUs.
Mr Shah felt it unacceptable that consultants were used for the drafting of MOUs.
The Chairperson said that greater detail was needed about what consultants were used for by the NDT.
Mr Bhengu did not believe that there were not any engineers in government. The Department of Public Works had to have engineers which worked on the EPWP.
Ms Ntuli said that the EPWP was done by the NDT itself. Funds for the EPWP were allocated directly to the NDT. The Department of Public Works was not involved in the NTD projects. The NDT was in charge.
Mr Bhengu responded that the EPWP lay with the Department of Public Works. It was driven by Public Works even though they were specific programmes by the NDT. Why could departments not use existing resources that were available in government? Why was the NDT even doing construction when the Department of Public Works was there? Greater synergy between government departments was needed.
Ms Njobe said that the Committee needed to meet with the Department of Public Works so that these questions could be answered.
The Chairperson agreed and said that the Committee could have a meeting with the Department of Public Works in quarter three or four of parliament’s session.
Ms Njobe asked if there was not overlap between the NDT’s International Tourism Programme and the work of SA Tourism.
Ms Ntuli said that she had raised the issue with both the NDT and National Treasury. Perhaps SA Tourism should have been placed under the International Tourism Programme rather than under the Policy and Knowledge Services Programme. She added that it did look as if there was an overlap of work.
Ms Njobe felt it best that the NDT explain.
The Chairperson asked that it be captured as a concern of the Committee.
The Chairperson referring to the Budget, saying there were many things that they needed to ask the Minister.
Ms Ntuli explained that there had been a drop in the budget for certain things as the costs had already been incurred in the previous year, such as where buildings and equipment had already been acquired the previous year.
Mr Shah wished to know how the NDT had benefitted from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Had infrastructure benefits from the World Cup been exploited? How had the NDT capitalised on it?
The Chair interjected that the NDT said that they were committed to creating jobs.
Mr Shah said that if
The Chairperson agreed that the Committee needed to know what type of visitors were coming to SA. Surveys should be done.
The Chairperson said that the Draft Report did not make mention of the National Conventions Bureau.
Ms Ntuli responded that the Conventions Bureau was under SA Tourism. She pointed out that transformation within the industry did not appear in the recommendations of the Committee.
The Chairperson said that the use of consultants on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was not acceptable.
Mr Farrow said that the huge increase in landing fees charged by Airports Company of SA was an issue which needed to be raised.
The Chairperson agreed that transformation in the industry and increases in landing fees needed to be looked at.
Mr Shah said the Committee needed a picture of to what extent transformation targets had been met.
Ms Ntuli explained that transformation within NDT had to be reported in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Transformation within the industry was another issue altogether and did not have to be reported in terms of the PFMA.
Mr Shah asked if figures on transformation had ever been forwarded to the Committee.
Ms Ntuli said that she had in 2011 requested figures on transformation within the industry but as yet nothing had been received.
The Chairperson said that figures on transformation should be requested and be received before the Committee’s debate on the Budget Speech in the House on the 3 May 2012.
Mr Bhengu asked if there was any information available on the impact of the Tourism Charter.
Mr Farrow said that the body which oversaw transformation in the industry was no longer in existence. How could the NDT allow this to happen?
The Chairperson remarked that the vehicle to deliver transformation was no longer there. He asked whether the 2011 priorities of the NDT had been met.
Ms Ntuli said that she had identified transformation, support to SMMEs and the dropout of persons from training programmes as matters which needed to be included as priorities.
The Chairperson asked whether there was a list of 2011/12 priorities.
Ms Ntuli said she would forward the list of priorities to the Committee.
The Chairperson said that the NDT wished to facilitate tourism but where were the resources to expand tourism infrastructure? He asked the Committee Secretary and the Committee Researcher to update the Draft Committee Report according to the inputs made by Members.
The Draft Report was adopted as amended.
The Committee Secretary said that the Draft Report would be updated and re-circulated to Members.
The Chairperson said that the rest of the matters on the meeting agenda would be postponed due to time constraints.
The Committee Secretary said that the Draft Committee Report on the International Study to
The Chairperson asked Members to forward their comments to the Committee Secretary on the Draft Committee Report on Diagnostic Overview of the National Planning Commission.
The meeting was adjourned.
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