Department of Tourism on its Annual Performance Plan, with Minister

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Meeting Summary

Minister Xasa explained that SA’s economy had slowed down however the tourism growth trajectory had been on the rise. One of the latest developments was the improvement in SA’s trade surplus in March 2017. This was the result of commodity exports that jumped on the back of strong global demand. This was a positive indication. The fact that government was pulling together and working together was also assisting.

Tourism continued to be a beacon of hope for many South Africans. Given the interventions that the NDT was planning things could be turned around in the economy. The World Economic Forum ranked SA 51st globally and number one in Africa. The NDT also heeded the call of President Jacob Zuma for radical economic transformation. The NDT was using its Annual Performance Plan which was premised on its Strategic Plan to deal with issues like poverty, inequality and unemployment. The call by President Zuma was in line with the vision of the NDT. The NDT would ensure this with good corporate and cooperative governance, strategic partnerships, collaboration, innovation and knowledge management. To bring about radical economic transformation the NDT had incorporated inclusive growth in all of its objectives. The Strategic Plan of the NDT took into account the following critical areas. The first was potential leveraging from state owned tourism properties or assets to bring in black management capacity, concessionaires and expansion of affordable products for domestic markets. It also included land for new investment which was largely in the hands of municipalities. The NDT intended to work with municipalities on this. The second area was effective use of state procurements. The NDT was looking at travel and tourism value chain products and services targeting a budget of R10bn ensuring inclusive participation in the tourism economy. The third area was that the majority of enterprises operated at the lower end of the scale, contributing lesser in value than their larger counterparts in the tourism sector. The plan was to strengthen Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Issues like market access and business sustainability would be looked at. The idea was also to set up a Tourism Development Fund which would allow access to funding for smaller players. There would also be a special focus on community based projects. The fourth area was to build a skilled, capable and representative workforce in tourism. The NDT’s skill development programme was not only based on numbers but should help to create jobs. Fifthly the Strategic Plan recognised the opportunities presented to community based enterprises formations to access the value chain through existing local tourism businesses. Sixthly the Strategic Plan recognised the need for a conducive policy environment for inclusive growth in the sector. Consequently the NDT intended to review its regulatory framework. The NDT finally recognised the need to create a conducive environment for investment.  The NDT would be working with the Department of Trade and Industry in this regard to promote tourism investment opportunities. The NDT also wished to have a greater focus on Africa as there were opportunities to expand SA’s tourism offerings.

Meeting report

Briefing by the National Department of Tourism on its Annual Performance Plan and Budget 2017/18
The actual briefing kicked off by touching on the focus areas to drive radical economic transformation to achieve inclusive growth. Minister Xasa had earlier spoken in detail to the focus areas. Key strategies and programmes for radical economic transformation were highlighted. These included the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), the Domestic Tourism Strategy and the Women in Tourism Programme. The NTSS had been given revised targets. The Committee was also given insight into the restructuring that the NDT had undergone in 2016. The NDT had four Programmes that was now in keeping with the theme of radical economic transformation ie Programme 1: Corporate Management, Programme 2: Tourism Research and Policy, Programme 3: Destination Development and Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services. Detail was provided on the strategic objectives and champions/programmes which fell within the purview of respective Programmes. Strategic risks and mitigation plans of the NDT were also elaborated upon. The briefing continued with an overview of the various Programmes of the NDT with detail being provided on Programme Performance Indicators (PPIs) and annual financial targets.

Programme 1: Corporate Management
The purpose of the Programme was to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to management. The strategic outcome-oriented goal was to achieve good corporate and cooperative governance. For instance on vacancies the vacancy rate had to not exceed 8% throughout 2017/18. For 2017/18 the NDT planned to maintain a minimum of 50% women representation at senior management level, a 3% minimum of people with disabilities and 95.1% black representation.  There was also to be 100% procurement from Broad- Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) compliant businesses.
Programme 2: Tourism Research and Policy
The purpose of the Programme was to plan for and monitor the tourism sector performance with enabling stakeholder relations and policy environment. Its strategic outcome-oriented goal was to achieve good corporate and cooperative governance. For 2017/18 the plan was to have two policy development initiatives. On monitoring and evaluation reports on tourism projects and initiatives the target for 2017/18 was to have four reports developed. On initiatives facilitated for regional integration the plan for 2017/18 was to have two initiatives.
Programme 3: Destination Development
The purpose of the Programme was to facilitate and coordinate destination development through destination planning, tourism product, experience and infrastructure development, investment promotion and the provision of tourism programmes including incentives and working for tourism that support host communities to deliver quality experiences for visitors and enhance residents wellbeing. The Programme’s strategic outcome-oriented goal was to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to inclusive economic growth. On the number of Working for Tourism Projects funded through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) the intention for 2017/18 was to have seven projects funded. The target for 2017/18 was to have 3 085 full-time equivalent jobs created through the Working for Tourism Programme.
Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services
The purpose of the Programme was to enhance transformation of the sector and tourism services through people development, enterprise support and service excellence in order to ensure SA was a competitive tourism destination. The Programme’s strategic outcome-oriented goal was to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to inclusive economic growth. The target for 2017/18 was to have four initiatives supported to promote Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). The intention was also in 2017/18 to have two social initiatives undertaken. In addition four incentive programmes would be supported with funding and ten capacity building programmes would be undertaken.  Furthermore in 2017/18 500 learners would be enrolled in the Food Safety Programme.
The Committee was provided with insight into the budget of the NDT for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). For 2017/18 the total budget of the NDT was R2.1bn. The Committee was provided with detail on the breakdown of the budget as per Programmes and Economic classification.

The Committee appreciated the fact that both Minister of Tourism Ms Tokozile Xasa and Deputy Minister Ms Elizabeth Thabethe had availed themselves to attend the meeting. Given the restructuring that the NDT had gone through members asked whether new chief director posts had been adequately budgeted for. Members observed that much had been said about radical economic transformation but when one looked at the content handed out to the Committee there was nothing reflected. It was all good and well that the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) had been revised but members asked what the direct contribution to the 2017/18 financial year was as well as what the contribution to jobs was. The NDT was asked why it was developing regulations for the Tourism Act when it intended to affect amendments to the Act itself down the line. Should the Tourism Act not be amended first before regulations were to be developed? Members represented the interests of provinces and the NDT was consequently asked what the contribution of the NDT to provinces was. What budgets and assistance to provinces were there? Members were concerned that even though R30m had been set aside for the revamping of the Zithabiseni Resort in Mpumalanga Province nothing had been done. The Resort remained in a state of dilapidation. The NDT was asked when it intended to revamp a tourism attraction centre that had been vandalised in the Free State Province. Members observed that tourism did not feature in the activities and in the Integrated Development Plans of many municipalities. The NDT was asked how it intended to fast-track its relationship with municipalities. Members asked how the everyday person could access the programmes that the NDT had on offer. Members suggested that there should be a database of offerings which people could access. Members pointed out that many departments tend to outsource their offerings via municipal councillors. The problem with this was that councillors only took on persons who supported their political agendas. It was emphasised that politics should be cut out of the equation. It was a huge concern if processes lacked integrity. Opportunities should be fair and transparent. Members agreed that the earmarked development of Vilakazi Street in Soweto was a good thing but that the entire township development of Soweto should not be centred on it. The NDT was asked what could be done to revive the Ndantsane Township in the Eastern Cape. The Township after all was a hub for boxing in the Eastern Cape. The observation was made by members that the tourism industry was doing well due to efforts of private enterprises and business. An environment needed to be created where enterprises could thrive. Government should not create jobs but had to create an environment that was conducive for jobs. Members asked whether there was a working relationship between the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Home Affairs on matters like the unabridged birth certificate issue. There seemed to be no denying that the visa regulations debacle had affected tourism numbers to SA negatively. Was the use of electronic visas being considered? Members remarked that the promotion of SA’s tourism industry by SA’s embassies abroad did not seem to be high on their agenda. Did ambassadors receive training from the DIRCO on how to promote tourism in SA?

Outstanding minutes were adopted. The Committee postponed the decision to endorse the appointment of Ms Zodwa Ntuli as the as the Acting Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commissioner.

Minutes
The Committee appreciated the fact that both Minister of Tourism Ms Tokozile Xasa and Deputy Minister Ms Elizabeth Thabethe were present in the meeting.

Opening remarks by Minister Tokozile Xasa
Minister Xasa said that she would introduce and highlight the direction that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) was to take. SA’s economy had slowed down however the tourism growth trajectory had been on the rise. One of the latest developments was the improvement in SA’s trade surplus in March 2017. This was the result of commodity exports that jumped on the back of strong global demand. This was a positive indication. The fact that government was pulling together and working together was also assisting.

Tourism continued to be a beacon of hope for many South Africans. Given the interventions that the NDT was planning things could be turned around in the economy. The World Economic Forum ranked SA 51st globally and number one in Africa. The NDT also heeded the call of President Jacob Zuma for radical economic transformation. The NDT was using its Annual Performance Plan which was premised on its Strategic Plan to deal with issues like poverty, inequality and unemployment. The call by President Zuma was in line with the vision of the NDT. The NDT would ensure this with good corporate and cooperative governance, strategic partnerships, collaboration, innovation and knowledge management. To bring about radical economic transformation the NDT had incorporated inclusive growth in all of its objectives. The Strategic Plan of the NDT took into account the following critical areas. The first was potential leveraging from state owned tourism properties or assets to bring in black management capacity, concessionaires and expansion of affordable products for domestic markets. It also included land for new investment which was largely in the hands of municipalities. The NDT intended to work with municipalities on this. The second area was effective use of state procurements. The NDT was looking at travel and tourism value chain products and services targeting a budget of R10bn ensuring inclusive participation in the tourism economy. The third area was that the majority of enterprises operated at the lower end of the scale, contributing lesser in value than their larger counterparts in the tourism sector. The plan was to strengthen Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Issues like market access and business sustainability would be looked at. The idea was also to set up a Tourism Development Fund which would allow access to funding for smaller players. There would also be a special focus on community based projects. The fourth area was to build a skilled, capable and representative workforce in tourism. The NDT’s skill development programme was not only based on numbers but should help to create jobs. Fifthly the Strategic Plan recognised the opportunities presented to community based enterprises formations to access the value chain through existing local tourism businesses. Sixthly the Strategic Plan recognised the need for a conducive policy environment for inclusive growth in the sector. Consequently the NDT intended to review its regulatory framework.

The NDT finally recognised the need to create a conducive environment for investment.  The NDT would be working with the Department of Trade and Industry in this regard to promote tourism investment opportunities. The NDT also wished to have a greater focus on Africa as there were opportunities to expand SA’s tourism offerings.

Briefing by the National Department of Tourism on its Annual Performance Plan and Budget 2017/18
The delegation from the NDT comprised of amongst others Mr Victor Tharage, Director-General, Ms Lulama Duma, Deputy Director-General: Corporate Management, Ms Nonkqubela Silulwane, Acting Deputy Director-General: Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations, Ms Shamilla Chettiar, Deputy Director-General: Destination Development, Ms Morongoe Ramphele, Deputy Director-General: Tourism Sector Support Services, Mr Ralph Ackerman, Chief Financial Officer and Ms Petra van Niekerk Parliamentary Liaison Officer.

Mr Tharage kicked off the briefing by touching on the focus areas to drive radical economic transformation to achieve inclusive growth. Minister Xasa had also earlier spoken to the focus areas. Key strategies and programmes for radical economic transformation were highlighted. These included the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), the Domestic Tourism Strategy and the Women in Tourism Programme. The NTSS had been given revised targets. The Committee was also given insight into the restructuring that the NDT had undergone in 2016. The NDT had four Programmes that was now in keeping with the theme of radical economic transformation ie Programme 1: Corporate Management, Programme 2: Tourism Research and Policy, Programme 3: Destination Development and Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services. Detail was provided on the strategic objectives and champions/programmes which fell within the purview of respective Programmes. Strategic risks and mitigation plans of the NDT were also elaborated upon. The briefing continued with an overview of the various Programmes of the NDT with detail being provided on Programme Performance Indicators (PPIs) and annual financial targets.

Programme 1: Corporate Management
Ms Duma stated that the purpose of the Programme was to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to management. The strategic outcome-oriented goal was to achieve good corporate and cooperative governance. For instance on vacancies the vacancy rate had to not exceed 8% throughout 2017/18. For 2017/18, the NDT planned to maintain a minimum of 50% women representation at senior management level, a 3% minimum of people with disabilities and 95.1% black representation.  There was also to be 100% procurement from Broad- Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) compliant businesses.

Programme 2: Tourism Research and Policy
Ms Silulwane said that the purpose of the Programme was to plan for and monitor the tourism sector performance with enabling stakeholder relations and policy environment. Its strategic outcome-oriented goal was to achieve good corporate and cooperative governance. For 2017/18 the plan was to have two policy development initiatives. On monitoring and evaluation reports on tourism projects and initiatives the target for 2017/18 was to have four reports developed. On initiatives facilitated for regional integration the plan for 2017/18 was to have two initiatives.

Programme 3: Destination Development
Ms Chettiar explained that the purpose of the Programme was to facilitate and coordinate destination development through destination planning, tourism product, experience and infrastructure development, investment promotion and the provision of tourism programmes including incentives and working for tourism that support host communities to deliver quality experiences for visitors and enhance residents wellbeing. The Programme’s strategic outcome-oriented goal was to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to inclusive economic growth. On the number of Working for Tourism Projects funded through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) the intention for 2017/18 was to have seven projects funded. The target for 2017/18 was to have 3 085 full-time equivalent jobs created through the Working for Tourism Programme.

Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services
Ms Ramphele said that the purpose of the Programme was to enhance transformation of the sector and tourism services through people development, enterprise support and service excellence in order to ensure SA was a competitive tourism destination. The Programme’s strategic outcome-oriented goal was to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to inclusive economic growth. The target for 2017/18 was to have four initiatives supported to promote Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). The intention was also in 2017/18 to have two social initiatives undertaken. In addition four incentive programmes would be supported with funding and ten capacity building programmes would be undertaken.  Furthermore in 2017/18 500 learners would be enrolled in the Food Safety Programme.

Mr Ackerman provided insight into the budget of the NDT for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). For 2017/18 the total budget of the NDT was R2.1bn. The Committee was provided with detail on the breakdown of the budget as per Programmes and Economic Classification.

Discussion
The Chairperson suggested given time constraints that if there were any questions that remained unanswered the Committee would be willing to accept written responses to those questions from the NDT. He referred to slide 69 and asked what the allocation to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) was for. The briefing had also made mention of new chief director posts that the NDT had created and asked whether there was adequate assurance that the budget had been prepared for those posts.

Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) pointed out that the NDT had during the briefing spoken about radical economic transformation but when one looked at the content handed out to the Committee there was nothing reflected. He referred to slide 7 which spoke about pillars of radical economic transformation and said that these pillars were not aligned with the definition of radical economic transformation. He asked how the pillars were tied in with structures, institutions etc. The briefing had also alluded to the fact that the targets of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) had been revised. What was the direct contribution to the 2017/18 financial year? He also asked what the contribution to jobs was. On planned policy initiatives there was the development of regulations for the Tourism Act as well as amendments to the Act itself further down the line. Why were the amendments to the Act not done first and the regulations thereafter? Given that members represented provinces he asked what the contribution of the NDT to the respective provinces of members were. What budgets and assistance to provinces were there? He pointed out that R30m had been set aside for the revamping of the Zithabiseni Resort in the Mpumalanga Province. However nothing had been done the Resort was still dilapidated.  

Mr Tharage, on radical economic transformation, said that elements had been alluded to in terms of what President Zuma had outlined. For example, to date, black participation had been more at bed and breakfast level. Assistance would be provided and it did not mean that the bed and breakfasts had to obtain financial assistance from banks. They would be given developmental funding. Incentives would also be unlocked. Black persons had to engage in viable commercial activity. Requirements would be that ownership should sit at 30% for instance. The NDT fully internalised radical economic transformation. On how radical economic transformation tied in with the work of the NDT, the strategy of restructuring of the organisation had just been completed. The next step was to move on to the service delivery model. The NDT ensured that National Treasury and the Department of Public Services and Administration were satisfied. On the Zithabiseni Resort, an advertisement had gone out for a service provider to be appointed to commercially operate the Resort. Funds would also be set aside for maintenance.

Minister Xasa stated that the NDT could provide the Committee with a breakdown on what was being done in the various provinces. On radical economic transformation the NDT was working with local and provincial governments to identify potential that was there. She added that the briefing had highlighted the NDT’s interventions to realise radical economic transformation.  A mentor was appointed at enterprise development level. 

Mr M Chabangu (EFF, Free State) pointed out that in the Free State municipalities did not have land. Land in the Free State was in the hands of developers and the Department of Land Affairs. A tourism attraction centre that had been built in the Free State had been vandalised. NDT was asked when they planned to revamp it. At a recent South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Tourism Indaba held in April 2017 municipalities stated that tourism did not form part of their activities. Tourism was not even provided for in the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of municipalities. He asked how the NDT intended to fast-track its relationship with municipalities. What criteria were used to choose women and youth for the studying of tourism?

Mr Tharage said that there was ongoing support to municipalities. This applied to provinces as well. Support was provided in planning processes as well as on capacity building.

Deputy Minister Thabethe said that on a visit to the St Lucia Wetlands they had met three young persons who were trained as tourism guides. Each of the tour guides provided a different perspective of interest in tourism.

Mr L Magwebu (DA, Eastern Cape) referred to the programmes that the NDT offered on food safety and tourist guiding and asked how the everyday person on the street could access these programmes. How offerings were made available to ordinary South Africans? He observed that many departments tended to outsource their offerings via councillors. The councillors consequently took on persons who supported their political agendas. He proposed that politics be cut out of the equation and that perhaps a database could be set up where people could access what was on offer. How did the NDT make its offerings available? It was all good and well that Vilakazi Street in Soweto was earmarked as a tourism attraction but he felt that township development could not centre on it. He asked what could be done to revive the Ndantsane Township in the Eastern Cape. It was a boxing hub in the Province.

Mr Tharage noted that the NDT was a transparent department and it tried to publicise opportunities that was on offer.

Deputy Minister Thabethe pointed out that the Nine Point Plan covered the reviving of townships. It was not only up to government to identify opportunities that were out there but it was also up to entrepreneurs themselves. The Vilakazi Street Project was an initiative conceptualised by an entrepreneur. It was also up to the people of the Eastern Cape to identify opportunities for boxing. There was a need for the NDT to work together with communities. People needed to identify opportunities in their respective areas. She noted that it was not good for development to be tied into a political party line. Development should be for everyone.

The Chairperson stated that a mechanism should be found to support the interests of people.

Mr Magwebu pointed out that if processes lacked integrity then there was a problem. The NDT was asked how it advertised its offerings. Was there a database that was fair and transparent? Opportunities should be fair and transparent. He asked how did persons access programmes that the NDT had on offer.  

Minister Xasa stated that the precinct development in Vilakazi Street would give the NDT ideas on what else could be done. The development could create opportunities for others as well.

Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) noted that SA’s tourism industry was doing well due to the efforts of private enterprises and business. He agreed that the Zithabiseni Resort in the Mpumalanga Province was in a dire state. It had a staff complement of 115 but its monthly visitors only totalled fifteen. Why was nothing being done to improve the Resort? An environment needed to be created where enterprises could thrive. Government should not create jobs but had to create an environment that was conducive for jobs. On visa regulations he asked whether the Ministry had a relationship with the Department of Home Affairs over issues like the unabridged birth certificate. The visa regulations had given tourism in SA a knock. Was the use of electronic visas being considered? He stated that when he had visited South African embassies abroad the promotion of tourism in SA was not high on their agenda. He asked whether ambassadors received training from the DIRCO on how to promote tourism in SA.

Mr Tharage stated that the Zithabiseni Resort would get support from the NDT. However road infrastructure fell under provincial and municipal authorities.

Minister Xasa explained that in countries where there were no SA Tourism offices people at missions were trained on tourism. NDT had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DIRCO. DIRCO had made tourism part of their deliverables at every mission. She conceded that the visa regulations had given the South African tourism industry a knock. Work was being done with the DHA on the visa regulation issue. The idea was to unlock barriers that were there. Government was trying its best to create an environment that was conducive for investment. Infrastructure and skills development was also taking place. She agreed that it was private sector that was the actual actors in the tourism industry.

Ms M Dikgale (ANC, Limpopo) asked what the NDT’s timeframe for transformation was. She noted that she would have liked to attend a tourism summit to be held in Malayasia in December 2017.

The Chairperson responded that unfortunately the Malaysian authorities had not invited the Committee to the summit but had merely mentioned it. 

Committee Minutes
Minutes dated the 15 March 2017 was adopted as amended.

Endorsement of the appointment of Ms Zodwa Ntuli as the Acting Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Commissioner
The Committee postponed the decision to endorse the appointment of Ms Zodwa Ntuli as the Acting Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Commissioner.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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