The Minister of Tourism, the Director-General of the Department and the relevant Deputy Director-Generals made a highly detailed presentation of the Department's Annual Performance Plan 2018/19 to 2020/21.
The Performance Plan noted that the Department of Tourism’s contribution to the economy was measured by jobs created, contribution to GDP, and revenue generated from tourism activity. Furthermore, as a services export sector, tourism was a significant earner of foreign currency. In the South African context that growth had to be underpinned by the principle of inclusivity to drive tourism-sector transformation. An increase in tourism’s economic contribution was driven by an increase in domestic and international tourist arrivals as well as an increase in tourist spend. Along with its partners, the Department had to create an environment conducive to increase by ensuring a quality and diverse tourism offering, as well as by developing sector capacity. Activities would include developing SMMEs in the sector and, together with the Department of Public Works, running an employment programme, Working for Tourism, which included the Tourism Safety Monitors.
The revised National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) targeted an increase in the direct contribution to the National GDP from R 118 billion in 2015 to R 302 billion in 2026. From a total contribution to National GDP of R 375 502 billion, the estimated target for 2026 was R 941 222 billion. The Department expected an increase in the number of direct jobs supported by the sector to grow from 702 824 in 2015 to 1 million in 2026. The number of total jobs supported by the sector was measured at 1 551 200 in 2015, with an expectation of 2 260 380 in 2026.
South African Tourism was the Department’s only entity and it had a huge responsibility to market South Africa across the globe. Furthermore, it had to market the country to its citizens for domestic tourism. It was a big task. Previously South African Tourism had country offices but had begun a hub strategy which allowed South African Tourism to reach more countries in a particular region. For example, the entity would have a regional office that dealt with China, Japan, Korea, and so forth in that area. 50% of the Department’s budget went to South African Tourism. It seemed a lot when it was compared to the overall budget of the Department, but in terms of actual money and what was supposed to be done outside the country, in particular, that money became quite limited.
The creation of employment opportunities by implementing Working for Tourism projects under the Expanded Public Works Programmes to improve product offering and visitor experience was an important aspect of the Annual Performance Plans. A number of destination enhancement initiatives would be supported, and the Department would support various initiatives to promote B-BBEE implementation and to stimulate domestic tourism. The focus would be on the development of community tourism enterprises as well as facilitating tourism capacity-building programmes.
The Minister of Tourism spoke with enthusiasm of the development of master plans to plan a comprehensive upgrade of a tourist area. The master plan was not a short-term approach and the Department would have to rely on all three spheres of government as well as the private sector for a successful roll-out, but the master plan would act as a catalyst. Of the areas of greatest potential that were under-exploited or unexploited, the Wild Coast was probably the part of the country with the greatest potential, and Port St Johns was good example of what the Department intended to achieve by developing a master plan for the area. The Minister made a commitment that the Department would deliver on the Annual Performance Plans, but he had to mention that the Department would not necessarily take the blame for matters that were beyond its control, such as the issue of listeriosis, drought, etc. The Youth Employment Service, was a very exciting programme launched by the President the previous day and the tourism sector was included.
The Minister intended addressing the issue of regulatory barriers so that tourism could grow. One of the important regulatory barriers was around visa requirements. Together with the Minister of Home Affairs, he would identify and address the actual problems and possible solutions. However, he informed the Committee that there was nothing stopping the Committee from conducting hearings on the issue of visas to hear from the players in the tourism industry to what extent the visas impacted on their businesses.
Members requested further clarification about the master plans that had been developed, including the Orange River Mouth and the Port St Johns Coffee Bay Masterplans. A Member asked if there was a record of the number of skills programmes that had been run in the past four years. How many skills had been transferred and did the Department have a breakdown in terms of female, youth and disadvantaged sectors? Who were the stakeholders in the Indian Ocean Rim Association which was an annual program hosted by the Department? Did the Department measure the impact of those meetings? A Member observed that 50% of the Department’s budget was transferred to the South African Tourism. Was there value for money in that transfer? What made that year’s Annual Performance Plans different from previous Performance Plans? What exactly was in the pipeline for the area of Port St Johns? Why was the transformation fund not known by a lot of people? What kind of advertising was the Department embarking on to make sure that all the small operators were aware of available assistance? What mechanisms had the Department put in place to ensure that it did not delay the opportunities for young people relying on the project to develop skills or to earn a living?
The Acting Chairperson welcomed the Minister and his delegation from the Department of Tourism and thanked them for coming before the Committee. She said the purpose of the meeting was to be briefed by the Department of Tourism on its 2018/19 to 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan. Without wasting time, she requested the Department to go ahead with its briefing.
Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2018/19 - 2020/2021 -National Department of Tourism (NDT)
Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister: The National Department of Tourism thanked the Chairperson and Members of the Committee for inviting them to present the Department's Annual Performance Plan for 2018/19 to 2020/21. He handed over to the Director-General and his team to lead the presentation.
Mr Victor Tharage, Director-General, National Department of Tourism, stated that, in terms of organisational strategic goals, the Department conducted its business in a manner that created public confidence in the state. That required excellent systems for the management of public resources, ridding the system of any inefficiency and enabling oversight by institutions of the state in the interest of the public.
The Department was responsible for formulating a legal and regulatory framework for the sustainable development and management of tourism. Decisions in that regard were meant to govern the tourism sector to ensure that South Africa’s approach to tourism development was in line with the principles of sustainability and responsible tourism. That required the formulation of laws, regulations and policies for the sector to ensure a coherent approach to tourism development. It was also recognised that tourism growth depended on various other, contributing, sectors. Therefore, a cooperative governance system was necessary to coordinate efforts to create coherence among all role-players. Outcome 12 looked at an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.
Mr Tharage said the contribution to the economy by tourism was measured by jobs created, contribution to GDP, and revenue generated from tourism activity. Furthermore, as a services export sector, tourism was a significant earner of foreign currency. In the South African context, that growth had to be underpinned by the principle of inclusivity to drive tourism-sector transformation. An increase in tourism’s economic contribution was driven by an increase in domestic and international tourist arrivals as well as an increase in tourist spend. Along with its partners, the Department had to create an environment conducive to increase by ensuring a quality and diverse tourism offering, as well as by developing sector capacity. In terms of Government outcomes, Outcome 4 looked at decent employment through inclusive economic growth.
Mr Tharage said the Department's focus areas included the following: Sector transformation and promoting inclusivity; research and knowledge management; skills development and the supply of the required levels of skills in the sector; destination development, including coastal and marine; enterprise development through expanded participation in and benefit by SMMEs, and responsible tourism promoting the principles of responsible tourism and sustainability.
Mr Tharage said the revised National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) targeted an increase in the direct contribution to the National GDP from R 118 billion in 2015 to R 302 billion in 2026. From a total contribution to National GDP of R 375 502 billion, the estimated target for 2026 was R 941 222 billion. He expected an increase in the number of direct jobs supported by the sector from 702 824 in 2015 to 1 million in 2026. The number of total jobs supported by the sector were measured at 1 551 200 in 2015 with an expectation of 2 260 380 in 2026.
Each of the Deputy Directors-General reported on her respective Programmes.
Ms Aneme Malan, (DDG) for Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations said that in the 2018/19 annual targets there were two tourism facilitation initiatives: Quarterly analysis reports on airlifts to inform stakeholder engagements and quarterly analysis reports on visa requirements to inform stakeholder engagements. Two information dissemination platforms would be hosted: The Tourism Public Lecture and the Tourism Research Seminar. Tourism monitoring and evaluation reports would be developed as well as a Quarterly Tourism Fact Sheets. Tourism arrivals would be analysed monthly. A number of major tourism workshops and seminars were planned.
Ms Camilla Chettiar, Deputy Director General: Destination Development spoke of the creation of employment opportunities by implementing Working for Tourism projects under the Expanded Public Works Programmes to improve product offering and visitor experience. A number of destination enhancement initiatives would be supported. The Department would be developing destination planning initiatives in each of the nine provinces, as well as the Township (Khayelitsha) precinct plan and the Karoo region precinct plan. Other master plans to be developed included Sutherland to Carnarvon/SKA, Hondeklip Baai to Port Nolloth, Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, Orange River Mouth. Eight destination enhancement projects would be supported across the country.
Ms Morongoe Ramphele, DDG: Tourism Sector Support Services said the Department would support a number of initiatives to promote B-BBEE implementation and to stimulate domestic tourism. The focus would be on the development of community tourism enterprises as well as facilitating tourism capacity-building programmes.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) welcomed the Minister back to his previous portfolio. He asked for clarity as to whether the 2026 target estimates had been adjusted for inflation or not. He was not sure if those were real Rands or constant Rands. But if they were adjusted for inflation, then it looked like there was about 12 and half to 50% compound growth every year. If it was actually nominal Rands, then he did not know what the inflation figure was assumed to have been. If it was around 4% or 5% inflation, then it looked like the actual growth was about 7%. Did those figures talk to each other in a way that was internally consistent because it seemed as if the direct contribution to the National GDP was growing a lot faster, even if one took inflation out of those figures in terms of the number of tourists arriving and jobs created? Something was not quite aligning in those figures and he needed clarity in that regard.
Mr Krumbock asked whether Members could get more clarification with regards to those master plans that had been developed, including the Orange River Mouth, the Port St Johns Coffee Bay Masterplan, etc. Was that a development of a facilitative environment under which local tourist initiatives could flourish? He also asked to what extent the presenters had some preliminary data on their pilot study of Nordic countries based on the econometric project they had launched some time ago. In the last meeting, Members had been told about the implementation, but the data was not yet available. Were there any preliminary results coming through?
Ms P Adams (ANC) also welcomed the Minister back. She asked the Minister whether any tourism businesses were part of the Youth Business Initiative that had been launched by the President as the tourism sector could possibly give lots of employment to the youth. She noted that a focus area of the Department was skills development. She asked if there was a record of the number of skills programmes that had been run in the past four years. How many skills had been transferred and did the Department have a breakdown in terms of female, youth and disadvantaged sectors? Did the communication strategy of the Department reach all South Africans, so as to enhance domestic tourism?
Ms Adams asked who the stakeholders were in the Indian Ocean Rim Association which was an annual program hosted by the Department. Did the Department measure the impact of those meetings? In respect of Programme 3: Destination Development, had facilitation sessions been held in each of the nine provinces, together with the Department, to monitor how the programmes were implemented as well as the impact of those sessions? The programmes were costly, and DT had to ensure value for money. Was there a focussed look at some of the provinces that were not often visited by tourists? Was there any extra help for those provinces, such as Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, etc.?
Ms Adams said that the Square Kilometers Array (SKA) project was a wonderful Science project which had not been promoted enough. She noted that the Dinosaur route would stretch over a few provinces and would like to urge the Department to look at how many provinces could be combined to make the route worthwhile. She was glad that there had been a mention of the tourism value chain in the report in respect of the Witsieshoek, which was a very good facility, but had not been communicated sufficiently to tourists. There was a vibrant community on both sides of the road, but there were not enough entrepreneurs on the road. There could be cultural heritage routes and so forth on that road.
Ms Adams noted that over 50% of the Department’s budget was transferred to the South African Tourism (SAT). She asked if there was value for money in that transfer. And how far did the role of the CFO stretch? Could the CFO intervene if the CFO saw that SAT was overspending money? Was the CFO the person that had to account for the monies received by SAT?
Ms S Xego (ANC) appreciated the presentation from the Department as led by the Minister. She asked how the budget of the Department talked to unforeseen circumstances, like drought and also disasters that affected tourism. What made that year’s APP different from the APPs of previous years? Did it ensure that there was no underperformance by the Department and also by SAT?
She noted that in some programmes the Department had to make selections, for example, in Programme 4, the Department was targeting the funding of 400 SMMEs. How would it make sure that in its implementation plan reflected the spread, fairness and addressed imbalances of the past, and talked to transformation because when the first Quarter came there would be more than 400 applications meeting the requirements? Also, on Programme 4, the Committee was interested in the issues of capacity-building and job creation because sometimes the Department just put down numbers. Was the Department benchmarking the numbers? What informed those numbers?
Ms Xego added that sometime back there had a presentation made by the Department or SAT which had suggested that there was a difficulty in recruiting youth from the Northern Cape. She asked what role the Department was playing in making sure that its counterparts in provinces did as expected because the Department had set the target for itself. What role would the Department be playing to avoid such instances in the current financial year?
Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) also appreciated the programmes presented by the Department as led by the Minister. She asked what exactly was in the pipeline for the area of Port St Johns, as indicated in the report. What participation had been displayed by the community of Port St Johns because that area had immense potential for tourist development and, so far, nothing of substance had come of the President's remarks about tourism in the country. Nothing that talked about the ocean’s economy was visible. Why was Port St Johns not developed as a lucrative tourist destination because it had so much potential?
Ms Bam-Mugwanya observed that the Department had a challenge in the uptake of various incentives provided to the industry. Most small operators were not really impressed by the overseas tours and shows that the Department always highlighted. The small operators wanted to enter into the industry, but they had lots of handicaps, one of which was finance. Why then was the Department not being creative and familiarizing itself with what people wanted on the ground and what people had an appetite for?
She said the President, in his SONA speech, had pledged that government would develop emerging tourism businesses. She asked what measures the Department had embarked on to advertise one of the help schemes, the transformation fund, and other financial forms of assistance as very few people were conversant with such help from the Government, and their only deterrent was finance. Why was that transformation fund not known by a lot of people? And what kind of advertising was the Department embarking on to make sure that all the small operators were aware what was going on in terms of financial assistance? Also, for the overseas countries, did the Department digitalize the South African beauty as a destination in its marketing strategy?
The Chairperson welcomed the presentation, noting that the APP was very informative. It had allowed the Committee to follow through on what had been planned throughout year when the Department was reporting on its quarterly performances. But in terms of the joint programmes that the Department was relying on from other stakeholders, the Department was challenged because the partner did not do its part and it was something that had occurred on all the programmes where a Department was relying on other partners to achieve its targets. What forward planning had the Department done that time around because the Committee could not be hearing the same excuse over and over again?
The Chairperson asked with regard to the jobs the Department was targeting which amount to 6 335 jobs. There was a problem because, for most of the programmes, the Department relied on a service provider to implement the programmes. For example, he referred to the EPWP project where the service provider had let the Department down which had then ended up not achieving its targets. What forward planning had the Department put in place to convince the Committee that the Department could not meet the targets and not that the service provider was giving it problems or had pulled out of the project? What mechanisms had the Department put in place to ensure that that did not delay and disenfranchise the opportunities for young people relying on the project to develop skills or earn a living?
With regard to the biometrics time and attendance system, the Chairperson asked how the Department was going to implement that system because if the service provider had to do the training and the implementation as an EPWP project, how was the Department going to monitor it and how were they going to implement it? Was that included in the service level agreement with the service provider?
Minister Hanekom said the DG and the delegation would respond to relevant questions and he would come in later to address any specific issues he wanted to comment on.
On the master plan question, Ms Chettiar said that master planning was essentially creating a blueprint for progressive development of any site. If they used the Cradle of Humankind as an example, in 2001, none of what currently existed, had been there. If the Department was putting a major investment in a site, there had to be a very detailed master planning exercise, which involved taking into account the spatial planning information that existed, the links that needed to be created from the transportation perspective, the links that had to be created from other infrastructure perspectives, and the kind of electricity supply, water supply, telecommunication supply needed. There had been a plan around transportation, what kind of roads they had needed to put in place and what kind of circling lanes they had to put in place.
Work had also been done on environmental management. What were the rules and regulations governing environmental management of the site, and how could they develop that site from a tourism perspective, taking into account all those environmental rules? What kind of marketing plan did they need to put in place to ensure that once the development came on stream, they actually had the resources in place to actively market the site? A major element of master planning was about stakeholder relationships and managing stakeholder expectations. So, the Department had said that was what they had in the space, and that was what they eventually wanted it to look like, and how would the Department take what they had and build the bridge between the current scenario and future vision to make it look like what they wanted to see. So, in the master planning of the Cradle of the Humankind a lot of work had been done that related to all of those elements. The master planning exercises that they were conducting in various provinces linked largely to the coastal marine tourism. The work was about taking the current status quo and developing their vision to create tourism development. And then came the bridge with the various elements of work that allowed them to take it from where it was to what they wanted it to become.
That was the master planning exercise. It was very detailed and very involved and to ensure the future vision, it had to be underpinned by strong stakeholder and public participation. It had to be about what people in the area envisaged. The biggest challenge the Department had with Port St Johns and provinces like Northern Cape that had not been developed, was that there were no detailed plans in the areas. And without the plan, they risked firstly no development, or, secondly, incoherent development. So, in terms of the work the Department was facilitating, it was supporting the funding of the planning exercise and working in partnerships with public sector partners as well as private sector partners. Master planning could not be developed and implemented by the Department alone. The exercise would begin that year. Members would appreciate that it took time, given the level of detail that the plan needed to go into, linking with the spatial frameworks for the area and creating the actual plans of the demand and how they would grow the area. The Department envisaged that the exercise should take two years to complete, but it would have a progressive plan for implementation and for growing those areas.
On the question of whether the Department supported provinces where they knew there was less capacity and there were challenges, Ms Chettiar said the Department had offered more support than in other provinces. The Department provided support to provinces in line with their requests. How did they measure and monitor forums which were MINMEC forums? The Department had governance development working groups and joint implementation plans with provinces. They had agreed on what their priority areas were for each province and progress would be monitored at quarterly meetings. At an official level there was a meeting of the DGs which looked at the work from a strategic level, and there were meetings of the Minister with MECs of provinces which had oversight and responsibility for the plan of action which they called a MINMEC Plan of Action.
Ms Chettiar said that the Orange River Mouth question had been answered broadly in terms of the master planning exercise.
Ms Ramphele said she would respond on the skills issue, SMME matters and the incentive program. Firstly, the Department was not funding, but supporting, the 400 SMMEs. The workshops provided training so that the SMMEs were ready and able to access funding when they had made sure that their paper work and compliance issues were ready. The 400 SMMEs graduated to going to trade shows, starting first with the trade shows within the country before they could even go to international trade shows. The Department was able to make sure that the training provided would help the SMMEs to sell their products. Therefore, the 400 SMMEs were not funded by the Department, but the Department made sure that they were ready to access funding elsewhere.
In terms of how they create awareness, Ms Ramphele said the Department had been running enterprise development awareness sessions, not only on the Departmental programmes, but also on other kinds of support the SMMEs could get outside the Department. Those awareness sessions were attended by financial institutions as well as the commercial banks. The institutions were there to further guide the SMMEs in terms of what other things they needed to qualify for funding.
Ms Ramphele responded to the issue of the incentive program not picking up in terms of the market access. The SMMEs needed to graduate from the lower levels. They did not have the necessary things for them to showcase in trade shows. The Department would be taking them up from the lower levels to the international space. As for market access. The SMMEs were really seeing the work and most of them were coming forward to say they were getting business inside the country as well as from outside. The other problem in terms of the uptake of the incentive was the grading but that had improved quite a lot. There had been a problem before but with the new way of discounting the Department would get those numbers. It was an area that needed to be improved.
On the question of where the Department got the numbers for skills development using the funding it was getting from the EPWP, Ms Ramphele said that the Department of Public Works (DPW), was able to guide them, telling the Department the number of jobs DPW wanted them to produce. Therefore, the numbers that they had given was guided by the DPW formula. Capacity building and job training were low hanging fruits. Ms Ramphele said the Department would have a record of skills and people trained over the years by the end of April. The Department was hoping to categorise the people in terms of females and males, as well as per province.
Host employers in the Northern Cape really needed to support the young people on the various programmes. The Department would sit down with the province and local municipalities as well as businesses in order to see how they could assist in resolving the problems that prevented the province and local municipalities from taking up the opportunities in their area.
In terms of the SAT budget, Mr Tharage said that SAT was the Department’s only entity and it had a huge responsibility to market South Africa across the globe. Furthermore, it had to market the country to its citizens for domestic tourism. It was a huge task. The money had to be used optimally. Previously SAT had country offices but they started a hub strategy which allowed SAT to reach more countries in a particular region. For example, SAT would have a regional office that dealt with China, Japan, Korea, and so forth in that area. That was a demonstration that SAT was mindful of the limited resources at their disposal. It seemed a lot when it was compared to the overall budget of the Department, but in terms of actual money and what was supposed to be done outside the country, in particular, that money became quite limited.
In terms of whether the Department was getting value for money, Mr Tharage said he would want to believe so. SAT was quite specifically targeted and there were quite a lot of relationships with trade. It was not just putting money into an entity but also making sure that SAT was converting that money to bringing tourists into the country. The Department had seen the growth, but, of course, they were not working in a completely free-risk environment. There were lots of risks and, as they spoke, the country was faced with the listeriosis disease. He was quite sure the country was going to see the full impact on tourism in the near future. It happened across the globe and tourists from countries that were familiar with it, because they had experienced it themselves, were not going to be scared of it. But those that were not necessarily familiar with the disease would probably reconsider, and all that required continuous communication. Other issues that directly affected the Department were the drought and crime, which was why one of the EPWP programmes in the Working for Tourism programme was the Tourism Safety Monitors, who would be able to assist in addressing concerns about crime. A lot had been done particularly by the tourism industry in response to the drought, but only so much could be done as it was a natural phenomenon. There was only so much human beings could do. How SAT was messaging the challenges was the issue and SAT was very good at that. And how SAT took that message out of the country was even more critical.
Ms Chettiar said at the moment there was no plan for Port St Johns. However, there was a plan with regards to some of the beach infrastructure around Port St Johns, but it was not on the level where the Department could take it directly to implementation. Further detailed planning needed to be done, for example to get the detailed designs, get Environmental Impact Assessments approved, etc. for that area.
Minister Hanekom said that there were components of the master plans like the fixing of roads, possible rail connections, etc, not in Port St Johns necessarily, that the Department might not be able to do. Certainly, it would not be responsible for the implementation of all components of a master plan because the Department was dealing there with three spheres of Government. Some things were going to be specifically the responsibility of the municipality. However, the Department would have some kind of a master plan which would act as a catalyst. Of the areas of greatest potential that were under-exploited or unexploited, the Wild Coast was probably the part of the country with the greatest potential, and Port St Johns was a good example. But as already indicated above, it started off with the plan and getting people committed to the plan. The developments were not going to be arbitrary or ad hoc. There was a framework for when development took place with some commitments. But of course, the Department could not ensure that the municipality met its end of the bargain but at least they knew what the critical things were to be done for tourism growth in a particular area of potential.
Minister Hanekom said that, related to that, the Department would deliver on the APPs and would not blame anybody else. The APP would not say tourism was going to flourish in Port St Johns or anywhere else, but a master plan would be there. So, for the deliverables on the Department’s side, it would deliver and that was the commitment he was making to the Committee. They had gone through the APPs one by one, very carefully, from Quarter 1 up to Quarter 4 and the commitment was there to meet all the targets. But he had to mention that the Department would not necessarily take the blame for matters that were beyond its control, as already mentioned by the DG, such as the issue of listeriosis, drought, etc. That was the difficulty that SAT had. The Department could talk about master plans, numbers of people trained, incentive programmes and all sorts of things, but SAT was measured by the number of tourists either travelling domestically or coming to South Africa and there were definitely things that were beyond SAT’s control that would determine those numbers.
The Committee could interrogate SAT on that, but consistently, as a Department, it was verifying numbers. To what extent was the visa waiver a major contributor? He could point to the massive increase which amounted to over 50% increase in the numbers of visitors from Russia in the 2016/17 financial year. There could be other factors that influenced the numbers, which was why the Department needed to verify them all the time. For example, China was very health conscious, which led to a massive decline in tourists from China during 2015 when there was an Ebola outbreak. One did not quite know the consequences and effect of the listeriosis outbreak as correctly pointed out by the DG, but it was going to be a factor going forward.
Minister Hanekom said that he did not think Mr Krumbock's question of whether figures were adjusted had been adequately answered because, honestly, they needed to go back to all those targets and see if they were aligned to each other. They would undertake to do that and come back and reply in a satisfactory manner because it was a very valid question.
Minister Hanekom said, on the issue of whether SKA in Sutherland was included in the master plan, it was a marketing plan as well because they were not development plans, but spatial development plans with a tourism focus. So, there was nothing in spatial development plans that did not include tourism marketing. But indeed, if everything was in place, the intention was to create conditions that provided opportunities for the private sector. The Department did not open guest houses, but individuals opened guest houses or built hotels.
On the Youth Employment Service, Minister Hanekom said the answer was in the affirmative. The tourism sector was included. It was a very exciting programme, which the President had launched the previous day. Tourism would take a step even further because of the rolling 300 000 jobs per year and the setup of an SMME or jobs elsewhere if a company could not absorb all learners. And that was how the private sector had committed itself, in addition to training opportunities and work experience, etc. There was a tourism component which the Department needed to engage with more robustly. He would be meeting with the CEOs because a lot of those things had come from the CEO initiatives a couple of years ago. The Department would go beyond that in their engagement with the tourism sector, and they had already resuscitated the relationship with CEOs and a meeting was planned with the CEOs.
Minister Hanekom said that he would be meeting with the Minister of Home Affairs in order to try and address the issue of regulatory barriers so that tourism could grow and obviously one of the important regulatory barriers was around visa requirements. Some of the things that were of concern to them was the lack of progress in that regard, but both Ministers were determined to identify, very clinically, what the actual problems were and possible solutions. They would report back periodically to the Committee on how they were progressing in dealing with that particular challenge. But there was nothing stopping the Committee from conducting hearings on the issue of visas to hear from the players in the tourism industry to what extent the visas impacted on their businesses. In that way, one did not hear only from the Minister or the Department, but directly from participants in the tourism industry.
Minister Hanekom promised Ms Adams that they would focus on the provinces that were not often visited by tourists. SAT tended not to promote Cape Town a lot because the city was well known for its beauty all over the world.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and his delegation for availing themselves and making their presentation to the Committee. However, when the Department came before the Committee again, it had to try to clarify the figures which had not been clearly explained as Members were struggling to understand the figures.
The Minister thanked the Committee for inviting them and promised that all the figures that appeared on that slide would be adjusted as requested by the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.