Department of Tourism on their Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan: 2012/13

NCOP Trade & Industry, Economic Development, Small Business, Tourism, Employment & Labour

16 May 2012
Chairperson: Mr D Gamede (ANC, Kwazulu-Natal)
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Meeting Summary

The National Department of Tourism (NDT) presented the departmental strategic and annual performance plan.  This covered the NDT’s priorities and new structure, which included four branches for the Office of the Chief of Operations Officer, Domestic Tourism Management, International Tourism Management, and Policy and Knowledge Services. The strategic objectives, the programme performance indicators, the baseline, and the medium-term targets for each of its four Programmes, were described, as well as Vote 35: Estimates of National Expenditure.

During discussion, Members inquired about the NDT’s priorities and if they were in line with the government’s national priorities. Questions were raised about the Skills Development Levies Act, and if a benchmark existed for the International Tourism Management branch.  
Several Members were interested about job creation and the sustainability of the jobs, and asked if the Expanded Public Works Programme’s  50 projects and support of rural enterprises were spread out over time.
Earlier, the Committee had expressed concern at the way they had been treated by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) with respect to the annual tourism indaba, saying that they were constantly excluded and not given the same privileges as their National Assembly counterparts. The Director General of the NDT responded that the Committee had, in fact, been invited.  At the request of the Committee, he gave a brief summary of the Indaba.

Meeting report

The Chairperson opened the meeting, apologising for the absence of several Members due to the Info Bill meetings. He asked everyone to introduce themselves.

He asked Ms Tokozile Xasa, the Deputy Minister of the National Department of Tourism (NDT), to give the Committee a short briefing on the Indaba.

Ms Xasa said that the Department had just completed its first year of international tourism strategy. In terms of the growth of tourism and ensuring it was part of national priorities, it was important to focus on international and domestic tourism. The NDT had since been restructured to reflect this. During the past year, 98.3% of the budget had been used and there had been a 9% vacancy rate.

Mr F Adams (ANC, Western Cape) said that the National Assembly (NA) had more privileges than the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Parliament consisted of two houses.

Mr A Nyambi (ANC, Mpumalanga) wanted to dispense with the presentation in order to talk about how this Committee was treated and constantly excluded. If they dealt with the issue now, they could then concentrate on the topic at hand.

Ms Xasa said that the NDT had apologised. The Minister was currently out of the country and he needed to be the person to handle this matter. Correspondence had been sent to both the NA and NCOP Committees to inform or invite them to the Indaba.

Ms E Van Lingen (DA, Eastern Cape) accepted what both Mr Nyambi and Ms Xasa had said but the two statements did not address the issue. She wanted to see the ‘correspondence’ that had been sent to both Committees.

Mr Nyambi said that they needed to ‘get to the bottom’ of the issue. If the Members of the NCOP had not been present, then one ‘could not say that there was Parliament’. If the matter continued to be brushed aside, it would persist for three or four years. Therefore, they needed to deal with the people whose fault it was.

The Chairperson said that he would speak to the Director-General (DG) about the matter at a later date and they would get to the bottom of the problem.

Mr Nyambi wanted a report on the outcome of this meeting, not merely an assurance that the Chairperson was going to speak with the DG.

Mr LM Makhubela, the Director-General of the NDT, said that in 2010, the NDT had found flaws in their system of reporting. There was room for improvement. However, he had a printout of an e-mail letter sent on 15 March 2012 from the NDT’s Minister to the Chairperson, inviting the Committee to the Indaba. An acknowledgement of receipt had been received.

Ms Van Lingen was shocked to hear this. The Committee was now ‘caught with their pants down’. They needed to take responsibility and apologise to the NDT. She asked who had sent the confirmation e-mail.

Mr Nyambi said he maintained the necessity of a report from the meeting with the DG.

Mr Adams said that aside from the Indaba, the Committee needed to be included in matters pertaining to provinces.

Mr Makhubela said that the NDT would be doing a detailed debriefing on the Indaba with South African Tourism at a later date. There had been a lot of criminal activities around the Indaba. He also explained how they had tried to deal with issues of universal accessibility, especially for disabled persons. In respect of the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA), there had been a discussion on how South Africa could make its destinations more relevant. In addition, there had been a media launch around culture and heritage, with the inclusion of Johnny Clegg, discussing where the country was and where it was going.

He added that the Minister had signed two critical agreements with Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Ms Van Lingen wanted to know more about the deal with Zimbabwe, but said that this could be clarified later on.

Mr Makhubela said that with respect to restructuring, the NDT used to have two structures; one for supply and one for demand. There were many gaps, so they had proceeded to look at their whole organisational structure. It had been changed into two branches: International Tourism Management and Domestic Tourism Management.

During the past year, R3 billion had been spent to promote tourism. The Domestic Tourism Management branch had launched strategies, had ensured the proper marketing of products, and had assisted provinces in developing audit strategies to minimize duplication, among other things.
The International Tourism Management branch was not a marketing entity, but a strategic policy unit that provided detailed analysis on how South Africa competed with the rest of the world in terms of tourism. It worked with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), looked into international organisations of which the country was a member  (such as the World Travel and Tourism Council), and studied successful countries’ tourism policies.

Departmental and Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan
Mr DJ van Schalkwyk, the Chief Operating Officer of the NDT, stated that the tourism sector’s priorities consisted of:
• Policy, strategy, governance, monitoring and evaluation
• Tourism growth and development on the demand side
• Tourism growth and development on the supply side
• People development
• Enablers of growth

The NDT’s priorities included:
• Job creation
• Promoting decent work in the tourism sector
• Rural, cultural and heritage tourism
• Domestic tourism
• Skills development
• Quality assurance
• Service excellence
• Sector transformation
• Opportunities for growth
• Entrepreneurship
• Increasing investment in the tourism sector
• Responsible tourism
• Expanding tourism infrastructure
• Product development
• Stakeholder coordination and partnerships
• Information and knowledge management
• Growing the market, looking at both domestic and foreign tourists.

The Committee was briefed on the NDT’s vision, mission, and values as well as its new structure, which included four branches for the office of the Chief of Operations Officer, Domestic Tourism Management, International Tourism Management, and Policy and Knowledge Services. The organisational risks and the mitigating factors of each branch were also briefly covered.

Mr Van Schalkwyk went over Programme 1, stating that the purpose of the Chief Operations Officer was to provide strategic leadership, centralised administration, and executive support and corporate services.

He explained the strategic objectives of the branch, the programme performance indicators, the baseline, and the medium-term targets for the periods 2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15. For the objective of an effective organisational performance management system, the percentage compliance with provisions of the government’s performance and risk management prescripts was measured with a baseline of 100% implementation and with targets of 100% compliance. The vacancy rate was currently 9% and the targets for 2012/13-2014/15 were to maintain a 5% vacancy rate. The percentage of compliance on management of labour relations cases in line with prescripts was currently zero but the medium-term targets were 100% compliance. There had also been 100% implementation of the communication strategy and compliance with case management requirements, agreed service delivery standards, and financial and supply chain management regulatory requirements.

Mr Victor Tharage, Deputy-Director General of the Policy and Knowledge Services branch, went over Programme 2. The purpose of the branch was to support sector policy development and evaluation, research and knowledge management, promotion of transformation and responsible tourism. He then described the 32 programme performance indicators.

The objective of monitoring and evaluating the tourism sector performance, strategies and policies had led to the 2010 State of Tourism Report, the Impact Evaluation of Indaba and Tourism Enterprise Partnership, and the monitoring and evaluation framework for the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS).

The goal to create an enabling policy environment and to improve intergovernmental coordination had resulted in targets being set to initiate three resilience strategies, a review of the Tourism Safety and Awareness Strategy, the release of a quarterly policy watch, and the development of  tourism training programmes for municipalities. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed with the Department of Home Affairs, and the target for 2012/13 was to implement two initiatives aimed at reducing barriers to tourism growth.

To professionalise tourist guiding services, a draft framework on harmonising guiding standards across borders would be developed, as well as a number of strategies to be implemented to develop standards for tourist guiding.

To manage and conduct tourism research to inform the industry, a number of research studies and baseline studies were to be conducted, with five research studies to be conducted through universities and two conducted internally from 2012/13-2014/15. The National Tourism Research Framework was also a baseline to achieve this objective, with progress reports as the medium-term targets.

To promote responsible tourism best practise, the baseline was the National Minimum Standard and Responsible Tourism (NMSRT), with targets to develop implementation incentives and toolkits for certification of tourism agencies and businesses.

Ms Aneme Malan, Deputy Director General of the International Tourism Management branch, explained Programme 3, the purpose of which was to provide strategic political and policy direction for the development of South Africa’s tourism potential throughout various regions of the world.

To provide the international tourism market analysis to inform strategic interventions, the number of country profiles developed and updated per year needed to be 180. For regional profiles, two needed to be developed in 2012/13, four in 2013/14, and eight in 2014/15. The number of strategic interventions introduced for selected tourism markets was four in 2013/14 and an additional eight in 2014/15. The number of South African missions abroad supported for tourism mainstreaming was four in 2012/13, eight in 2013/14, and twelve in 2014/15.

In order to utilise bilateral and multilateral engagements to advance the tourism national, regional, African and global agenda, one annual report on international agreements and strategic national priorities facilitated, was required.

Ms Morongoe Ramphele, the Deputy Director General of the Domestic Tourism Management branch, covered Programme 4, the purpose of which was to provide political, policy and strategic direction for the development and growth of sustainable domestic tourism throughout South Africa.

To facilitate the implementation of appropriate support packages for regions, provincial profiles needed to be updated and regional support packages needed to be developed. To facilitate the implementation of national tourism imperatives, a number of national programmes had been supported, such as the Annual National Tourism Career Expo (NTCE), the Curriculum Analysis and Evaluation Report, the Educator Seminar Report, research reports, and Tourism Leadership Dialogues reports. These needed to be done each year from 2012/13-2014/15.

Two other strategic objectives had been to provide support to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) for economic development and job creation, and to create employment opportunities by implementing tourism projects targeted at the unemployed.

Mr Ralph Ackermann, Chief Financial Officer of the NDT, reported on the Vote 35: Estimates of National Expenditure (2012 ENE).

He explained the Departmental MTEF Baseline per programme.  For 2012/13, Administration took 14% of the total, Policy and Knowledge Services took 58%, International Tourism took 3%, and Domestic Tourism took 25%. The Departmental MTEF Baseline per economic classification in 2012/13 consisted of 13% of the total for the compensation of employees, 11% for goods and services, .01% for interest on leases, 75% for transfers and subsidies, and 1% for capital assets. He briefly outlined the breakdown of the MTEF Baseline for each programme.

Mr Nyambi asked if in Programme 1, they were intending to reduce the number of women from 54% to 50%, since 54% was the baseline, but the medium-term targets were all 50%.

In conjunction with the priorities stated in the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the NDT had been able to reduce the number of vacant posts. He congratulated them on this. Was it possible to achieve a 0% vacancy rate?

In terms of the Programmes, were they satisfied with what they had now, or did they think there was a need for additional programs?

He asked if they really saw the NDT contributing to the government’s objectives as reflected in their mandate. What was the NDT’s opinion about the national targets? Were there too many?

Ms B Abrahams (DA, Gauteng) was concerned about the Skills Development Levies Act. She also wanted to know the benchmark for the International Tourism Management branch. Concerning job creation and employment, she wanted to know if these jobs were sustainable.

Ms Van Lingen asked if the NDT was going to expand the public works programme. She was also concerned about international tourism. Were they thinking out of the box to do something new? She stressed the need to make tourism work on a local governmental level.

She asked what the NDT was they doing at school level to promote tourism?

The Chairperson raised the issue of coordinated marketing, a point which he had raised last year. He wanted good progress on this issue.

He asked if the NDT’s list of priorities were in order of importance. If they were not, they needed to be. He also inquired about progress with Russia, since the country now had a tourism official.

He asked if the 50 projects of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and support of rural enterprises were spread out over time. In addition, he was concerned about the sustainability of jobs and the role of consultants.

Mr B Mnguni (ANC, Free State) asked what the NDT was doing to promote South African culture.

Mr Makhubela said that the preservation of South African culture was not its mandate, but that of Arts and Culture. The NDT was in charge of promoting what was available in the country.

A framework had been development to work with five universities to assist the NDT with developing capacity. In the tourism sector, it was important to have people who were trained. Currently, the number of trained workers was scarce. Therefore, the NDT needed to interact with the universities to develop skills for long-term benefits. The NDT did use consultants, but only in specific cases.

Concerning the prioritising of the NDT’s list of priorities, it was possible to cluster them around three key areas: International Tourism, Domestic Tourism, and Policy and Knowledge Services. On the topic of vacancies, the requirement was 12%. Many internal candidates had applied for their positions, so that often did not fill the gaps, since those taking posts left one empty.

Since International Tourism was a new branch, the NDT would deal with benchmarks next year.

As for the percentage of women being reduced from 54% to 50%, the NDT was not going to deliberately reduce numbers. However, they did want to encourage others, such as disabled persons.

On the subject of relations with Russia, it was important that there was a follow-up on that issue.

On the topic of coordinated marketing, there were formal engagements but a comprehensive strategy was needed. There was a meeting with South African Tourism on Thursday that would touch on this. Worldwide, the focus of tourism was domestic, and South Africa was very behind in this regard.

Ms Ramphele said that the EPWP program was spread throughout the country. Concerning the sustainability of the EPWP,  7% of the budget went to training. The NDT needed to promote long-term jobs by having enterprises inform them of their plans from the outset.

Mr Tharage said that they had a good working relationship with DIRCO. Specific support from the Department of Home Affairs could help resolve visa issues.  He stated that progress was being made with regards to Responsible Tourism.
Mr Van Schalkwyk spoke on the topic of consultants. He said that the NDT was going to set up its own IT infrastructure in order to reduce the number of consultants. There were internal audits for consultants’ fees.

Mr Makhubela stated that in the tourism industry, there was no emphasis on accredited training. With accreditation, there was the possibility for employees to ‘climb the ladder’. The MoUs would assist the NDT in supplying accredited training. The MoUs would also help them at the National Tourism Careers Expo.

As for the ‘spread’ of the 50 projects, the NDT had tried to ensure that they went to the provincial level. They needed to encourage the flow of these projects.

Ms M Dikgale (ANC, Limpopo) said that there was no tourism around eastern Limpopo.  Were there any plans to create tourism in this region?

Ms Van Lingen inquired what the status of an ‘inactive’ project was.

Mr Makhubela said that the EPWP should not be driven by the imperatives of constituencies. There were places that tourists would not go. It was important to look at projects from the tourists’ perspective because otherwise, projects would not be sustainable. They had to make economic sense.

Ms Rampheleexplained that ‘inactive’ meant that the project had issues that needed to be resolved through investigations. There would be an audit to clean out inactive projects.

Mr Makhubela stated that there were problematic projects that had resulted in criminal charges. He was working closely with the police to resolve these issues.

The Chairperson thanked the NDT for their presentation and attendance and adjourned the meeting.


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