The Committee considered and adopted outstanding minutes. An issue emanating from one of the adopted minutes was that public hearings should have taken place on the Tourism Sector Codes prior to publication of the Codes by the Minister. This did not happen. The Committee however agreed that the Tourism Broad–Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter Council could be asked to address the Committee on the Codes and if members so felt public hearings could still be had.
The Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term 2016 was adopted unamended. Staying on the issue of the Committee’s Programme members did feel that the Committee did not do enough oversight over projects that were taking place on the ground. Visiting projects would give members insight into what worked and what did not work.
The Committee noted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of the Republic of SA and the Government of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of tourism that was signed on 8 July 2016.
The Draft Report on the Joint Oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal, September 2015 was adopted as amended. The Committee decided and agreed that the Minister of Tourism would be requested to respond to the Committee Recommendations made in the Draft Report and that the Draft Report be sent to all relevant Ministers.
The Committee considered its Draft Report on the 2016 Tourism Indaba. The Committee once again agreed that the Minister of Tourism needed to respond to the Committee Recommendations made in the Draft Report. This was especially required since the planned appointment of a service provider to handle tourism indabas had not happened. Members further suggested that a cost-benefit analysis of tourism indabas be done in order to measure whether they held benefits to exhibitors etc. The Committee agreed that the suggestion of a cost benefit analysis of tourism indabas be included in the Draft Report as a Committee Recommendation. The Draft Report was adopted as amended.
The Chairperson informed members that the Committee had been invited to celebrations for Tourism Month and provided a breakdown of the various activities planned.
13 May 2016 – The minutes were adopted unamended.
20 May 2016 – The minutes were adopted unamended.
Mr J Vos (DA) noted that in the meeting the view was expressed that public hearings on the tourism sector codes were needed in order to hear views on it from the industry. He expressed disappointment that the hearings had not materialised. Not too long after the meeting the Minister together with the Tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter Council had published the codes.
The Chairperson suggested that perhaps the Committee could invite the Charter Council to a Committee meeting. She noted that at the time of the meeting Parliament was under huge pressure due to the looming 2016 municipal elections. If the Charter Council appeared before the Committee members could get insight into the codes. Thereafter if members still wished public hearings could be held.
Draft Committee Programme for the Third Term 2016
Mr G Krumbock (DA) said he wished to repeat a request that he had made in 2015. It was all good and well that Members were well briefed by departments when they appeared before the Committee. The problem was that the Committee did not go out into the field to look at best case studies. During meetings the Committee received an overview once removed from presenters. He urged that the Committee needed to go out there to check on things first hand. Perhaps the Committee could look at 2-3 successful tourism projects as well as 3 projects that were not doing well. In this manner the Committee could identify what drivers of successes there were and also what did not work. This would be better than getting a generalised and aggregate view of entities. He emphasised that it was something that was lacking.
The Chairperson pointed out that on the next oversight visit which was to the North West Province the Committee would look at projects in the Province. The Committee would look at best practises and at failures. She added that an oversight visit to the Mpumalanga Province was also planned.
The Draft Committee Programme was adopted unamended.
Tabling of Bilateral Agreement in Parliament in terms of Chapter 14, Section 231(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of SA, 1996 as amended
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of the Republic of SA and the Government of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of tourism was signed on 8 July 2016.
The Committee noted the MOU.
The Chairperson stated that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) needed to keep the Committee up to date on all agreements.
Draft Report on Joint Oversight to KwaZulu-Natal, September 2015
Mr Vos said given the extent and detail of the Draft Report he suggested that the Committee not go through it page by page. He referred to page 30, paragraph 9.3 which covered Recommendations made by the Committee and asked whether it was possible for the Minister to respond to the Committee Recommendations. The Recommendations essentially spoke to the urgency that cultural and heritage tourism needed to be elevated to its full potential. He also suggested that the Draft Report also be forwarded to all relevant Ministers.
The Chairperson stated that Mr Vos made good suggestions and it would be implemented. She noted that she was also going to suggest that the Committee Recommendations be sent to the relevant Ministers.
Ms S Xego (ANC) added that the Committee needed to build relationships and links with stakeholders at sites that it visited. This would allow the Committee to get some feedback. Oversight visits should not be a once-off thing.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) said that her apology was not reflected in the Draft Report.
The Committee Secretary Mr Jerry Boltina agreed to amend the Draft Report.
The Draft Report was adopted as amended.
Mr R Cebekhulu (IFP) highlighted certain things in KwaZulu-Natal which he felt could have been included in the Draft Report. He felt that the drought, the pollution in the Province and the invasive species of plants prevalent should have been mentioned. He further felt that relevant government departments should provide input on what they were doing to address these issues.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee could write to the relevant departments around the issues highlighted.
Draft Committee Report on the 2016 Tourism Indaba
Mr Vos proposed that the Committee adopt the Draft Committee Report with the proviso that the Minister of Tourism must provide detailed responses to the Committee Recommendations as contained in the Draft Committee Report. This was especially required since a service provider had not been appointed to handle tourism indabas. Paragraphs 11.1 – 11.8 specifically required responses from the Minister.
The Chairperson said that in a management meeting which she had had with the Committee Secretariat it was agreed that the Minister would be requested to respond to the Committee Recommendations.
Mr Krumbock stated that he had spent a fair bit of time speaking to local government exhibitors at the Indaba. Some of the exhibitions were good whilst others were bad. The Committee was yet to see a cost-benefit analysis on indabas from the NDT or exhibitors themselves. He asked that such assessment be made in order to check on what was spent on indabas and whether such expenditure led to increases in tourism inflows. To what extent were indabas a benefit? Tourism indabas were no longer the showpieces they used to be. Exhibitors needed to be asked whether it was worthwhile for them to have exhibitions. After the assessment was done the decision could be taken to downscale or upscale tourism indabas. Feedback was needed from the NDT, private exhibitors and municipalities. The impact of tourism indabas on the ground needed to be felt.
Dr Sibusiso Khuzwayo Committee Content Adviser suggested that perhaps Mr Krumbock’s proposal for a cost-benefit assessment of tourism indabas could be included in the Draft Committee Report as a Committee Recommendation.
Mr Vos supported Mr Krumbock’s proposal. Sometimes small municipalities could not compete with larger municipalities. The NDT should be asked why it had not appointed a service provider to assist smaller municipalities. Product development and destination marketing needed to take place. A cost-benefit analysis would be useful. It could speak to whether it was financially viable for smaller municipalities to compete at tourism indabas. A discussion was needed with the NDT and SA Tourism on why a service provider had not been appointed. The tourism indaba was once again the responsibility of SA Tourism.
The Committee agreed that the proposal by Mr Krumbock be added to the Committee Recommendations in the Draft Committee Report.
The Chairperson said that the NDT needed to work more closely with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (DCOGTA). The NDT and the DCOGTA should work together on promoting tourism. She suggested that the Committee could even meet with the DCOGTA to discuss tourism issues.
The Draft Committee Report was adopted as amended.
The Chairperson shared that she had contacted the Director General’s Office of the NDT regarding projects that the NDT had. There were many projects. Some were viable whereas others were not. Most of the failed projects were legacy projects from the days of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). The NDT would also be asked whether it had done prosecutions. She pointed out that Minister Derek Hanekom had sent recommendations on the Committee’s Budgetary Recommendations Review Report (BRRR) to the Speaker of the House.
Mr Jerry Boltina Committee asked Members to indicate to him their availability to go on oversight to the North West and Mpumalanga Provinces.
Members agreed to provide the information to Mr Boltina.
The Chairperson informed Members that the Committee had been invited by Minister Hanekom to celebrations for Tourism Month. She provided the Committee with a quick breakdown of the activities. The celebrations were to be held in the Free State. On 16 September 2016 there was a visit to Robben Island. On 25 September 2016 there was a public lecture at Bloemfontein University of Technology. On 26 September 2016 there was a dinner at the Vaal Degrees at a golf estate in Parys. 27 September 2016 was one of the major days of celebration since it was World Tourism Day.
Mr Vos asked the Committee Secretariat to send members the particulars for Tourism Month celebrations.
Mr Boltina handed out the Tourism Month celebrations itinerary to members.
The meeting was adjourned.
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