Relevant Documents: Annual Performance Plan 2018/19; Draft Committee programme 17 April – 15 June 2018; Draft Committee minutes dated 28 March 2018
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism met to discuss its Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the 2018/19 financial year in order to structure its work. It was provided with an update of the situational analysis, looking at what had transpired in tourism during the previous year. The international performance of tourism had reflected a 7% increase in international arrivals, with South Africa having only a 2% increase in 2017. Regardless of this poor performance, tourism remained the anchor of the economic sector, with immense potential to address the socio-economic imbalances in the country, contributing 700 000 jobs created for South Africans. Tourism supported 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs, which was 9.8% of the total employment of the country.
The Committee took note of the fact that the tourism sector continued to face a number of challenges that needed to be addressed immediately. Members felt that the budget was not representative of the role, performance and expectations placed on the tourism sector, with the same amounts being allocated by Parliament for expenditure items since 2013.
A Member pointed out that one of the many challenges the sector needed to face was the maintenance of attractions. The challenge was that tourism had to interface with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which was responsible for municipal tourism resorts and iconic attractions, as well as the upkeep of arts and culture attractions. Local government competency in this regard often led to tourists going to places where they could get mugged, where there was litter, or improperly trained tour guides, resulting in tourists having a negative experience. He suggested a joint meeting with committees such as Arts and Culture, COGTA and local government to come up with ways to improve rundown tourist sites.
The Committee noted that according to the Parliament’s timetable, its planned international study tour had not been included. It would continue to pursue the plan, regardless of this.
Tourism Committee’s Annual Performance Plan 2018/19
Dr Sibusiso Khuzwayo, Committee Content Advisor, said that administratively, all Committees at the beginning of the financial year needed to revise their strategic plans and develop their annual performance plans (APPs). This was done for the Committee, and not for the Department, in order to structure the work of the Committee.
The Committee had tried to have a planning session last year, but the meetings had kept on being postponed because there was no time in the programme. Looking at the programme for this year, the Committee might again not have the time. If the Committee had not done its planning, it would then administratively become an audit query. The auditors’ committee had a selection process, and fortunately -- or unfortunately -- tourism had yet to be one of the committees chosen for institutional auditing.
It had initially been decided that this would be an oversight week, but a request had been made for the meeting to be in preparation for the Committee to do its own planning, so it would not fall short administratively if it was chosen for auditing.
The Committee had yet to adopt the Annual Performance Plan for the previous financial year. The Committee Secretary, Mr Jerry Boltina, would elaborate on this later, as there would be a Committee day during which they would be looking at internal Committee matters, and this would be when a final APP would be submitted to higher management. As a result, a lot of information had not been included in the current APP, but rather in the strategic plan, which had included issues of domestic tourism and policy uncertainty at the time. However, the day’s focus would be looking only at what the Committee planned to do in the 2018/19 financial year.
Dr Khuzwayo provided an update of the situational analysis, looking at what had transpired in the previous year in terms of tourism. The international performance of tourism reflected a 7% increase in international arrivals, with South Africa having only a 2% increase in 2017, which he regarded as an unfortunate performance. Regardless of its poor performance, tourism remained the anchor of the economic sector, with immense potential to address the socio-economic imbalances in South Africa, contributing 700 000 jobs created for South Africans. Tourism supported 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs, which was 9.8% of the total employment of the country.
Dr Khuzwayo referred to the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), released by Stats SA in March 2018. The TSA provided information on the contribution made by the tourism sector in terms of expenditure and employment, making reference to the sector’s job creation in 2016. President Ramaphosa, in his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA), and the Minister of Finance, in his 2018 budget speech, had said that the tourism sector and its socio economic contribution needed to double its performance.
Parliament had five roles, and as a result the Committee’s APP was also separated into the five categories. The first role dealt with passing legislation, such as the Tourism amendment Bill that the Committee had begun speaking about. There were issues that had emerged over the years which included, but were not limited to, the speeding up of transformation, the enhancing of quality assurance and the regulation and professionalisation of tourist guides. These issues needed to come with the new Tourism Bill. However, during a meeting with the Department, the Director General had indicated that it would not be able to table the amendment bill, and that it would be tabled by the next Parliament. The Department had finally gazetted the policy in December 2017, so it would be called in the first quarter to come and brief the Members of the Committee on the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS). The importance of the document was that it now carried new targets. The NTSS had been published in 2011, and this was a revision of that document. The revised document looked at a period of ten years, from 2016 to 2026, and Members had already begun finding issues with the targets in the APP of the Department which had been tabled, as there was confusion as to whether the figures were nominal or real.
The APP looked at the role of the Committee in holding the executive to account through oversight. First, it looked at the five year strategic plan of the Department and the report that would be coming to the Committee in relation to the Department’s performance. Secondly, it dealt with the resolution of minutes, as the Committee initially chased targets such as the minutes being available after three days and the Committee’s resolution after eight days. The APP had initially been tracking these targets, but had been met with two challenges. It sometimes took time before the minutes were adopted by the Committee and a draft of the minutes was signed off by the Chairperson as a legitimate draft in order to meet the three-day target for the availability of minutes. The minutes became a record of the Committee only once they had been served in a meeting of the Committee and had been adopted by the Members. When the auditors looked at the Committee’s compliance with institutional performance, they would look at the date of the meeting and when the minutes were available, requiring evidence in the form of an email from the secretary to the Chairperson. However, the Committee now no longer looked only at when the minutes were released, but also at what resolutions had been taken in the meeting. The Committee had to admit that it had not done well in terms of checking its resolutions with the Department.
The APP of the Department had the same process, only now it dealt with tracking the performance of the Department quarterly, and in which it had a 100% requirement in all the quarters. Due to the Parliamentary programme, sometimes more than one quarter would be addressed at one meeting, but this would have to be avoided in future because administratively Parliament would have calculated and picked the number of committees, and stated how many quarterly reports each committee would revise. Therefore, if a committee did not sit in a quarter then it had erred. Fortunately, the Department of Tourism had never been called for an organisational non-performance compliance issue.
Dr Khuzwayo said that there was an annual report that the Department would table which would be dealt with around October. This would be followed immediately by the budget review and recommendations report in the third term. He commented on how eventful the third term would be. The facilitation of public involvement was one of the roles of Parliament, and the Committee should also have activities planned which would involve the public.
What the Committee had tried to do during the fourth Parliament but had not been able to achieve was to hold a tourism summit. This would now have to take place in the fifth Parliament. The summit would be part of the tourism activities of the Committee. The last tourism summit the Department had hosted had been in 2013. The summit that would be held now would serve the purpose of providing opportunities for the Committee to interact with various stakeholders, such as academics, the tourism associations and public sector stakeholders, such as the Destination Management Organisation. The likelihood of the summit happening would be dependent on the programme of Parliament allowing for it to happen. However, he was sceptical about whether it would happen, based on what he had already seen of Parliament’s programme.
Another engagement which would allow the Committee to engage with the public would be two oversight visits to their counterparts in provinces, such as provincial government legislatures, and having stakeholder meetings where Committee Members could engage with a wide variety of issues. The Committee would have an opportunity to have these visits in the third and fourth quarters.
The APP which spoke to the issue of the participation of the Committee in sector specific events, It was hope that Members would be able to participate in the Tourism Indaba. The new programme of Parliament altered the Committee’s plans to visit tourism sites, when the House Chairperson had informed the Committee it had to prioritise the budget process. He said that there would be an imbalance in what was happening because Members had not seen what would be happening at the World Travel Market (WTM) to allow for a benchmark between the two events. Moving forward, Members needed international exposure to these events, which would also involve the facilitation of international tours, when oversight visits abroad by Members were not approved.
Statements would be issued by the Office of the Chairperson on behalf of the Committee. This would happen mainly after the Committee meetings, because every committee had a communications official who would communicate a statement to the media on topical issues covered at the meetings which affected the public.
Dr Khuzwayo referred to the issue of cooperative government, and said what Parliament was trying to do now was to make Committees interact with other internal stakeholders on issues of mutual interest. Two joint oversight meetings had been held with the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture and the Committee for Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Committee had tried to engage with Small Business Development (SBD) last year through the office of the secretary of the Committee, but at the end of that process, SBD had come back stating there were issues of legislation, so they could not proceed. There were two issues, one being a joint oversight visit with the Northern Cape’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism and the other being a joint meeting in the third term with the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development. Then in the fourth quarter, there would be a joint oversight visit with Gauteng Portfolio Committee on Tourism, as well as a joint committee meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development.
International engagements were the fifth role of Parliament. At a Committee level, the Members still had a study tour in which they would visit sites in Cape Town in the first week, and then in the last week there would be a study tour to France. However, two weeks had been removed from the Parliamentary programme. Much work had been put towards the study tour to France, though it fell outside the Parliamentary programme. The Committee had left the study tour in the APP because it would like to ask if the House Chairperson would agree that Members go a week after the Parliamentary programme ended.
The Department had international agreements with other governments, and what the Committee was planning to do this year -- which had been in its programme for the past two years but had been sacrificed by the Committee -- was to sit and engage with the Department with regard to all the international agreements it had signed.
Dr Khuzwayo referred to the areas of Committee support and Committee business, which dealt with internal issues such as compliance with the agreed timeframe for the submission of the APP, which would be done in the first quarter. The annual report, which was done at the end of each year, covered the calendar year, so it left the Committee with a quarter with regard to its oversight work. Its Fifth Parliament Legacy Report would be developed in this last quarter and would then be tabled to Members to reflect on their tenure.
The resource allocation for the Committee, which dealt with Committee support staff, indicated that the Committee Researcher post had been vacant since the third quarter of 2017/18, and an appointment was expected to be made by the end of the first quarter of 2018/19. The budget was no longer held by the Committee Chairperson, but rather sat with the House Chairperson. The budget in the APP was a rough estimate for the year 2018/19, as the Committee’s budget would be centralised. For the past two years the House Chairperson had taken the budget provided by the Committee Chairperson and budgeted based on the Committees cost analysis. For committees, there was an internal dispensation on how to cater for meetings by not exceeding a certain number of people attending.
Dr Khuzwayo concluded that the APP had been tabled merely for Members to have inputs, as the Committee had yet to go through the document. Members could engage on it, but the finalisation of inputs from Members would be done on 23 May, as that was the date set aside for the internal Committee issues
The Chairperson said Members’ comments on the APP would e noted down for the dedicated day set for the tabling and adoption of the document.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) said he was uncertain whether it was the right place to bring a list of what the Committee ought to be doing. There were two things that needed to be identified and done by the end of the Fifth Parliament by the Committee. The first would be to look at the econometric report and to thoroughly interrogate what the practical implementation had been in terms of the pilot study which had been done in a Nordic country in order to see if the econometric model worked as the Committee had been told it did, and what its implications would be.
The second was that if the number of people visiting the country continued to increase, was tourism offering the best possible product. One of the many challenges the sector needed to face was the maintenance of attractions. The challenge was that tourism had to interface with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which was responsible for municipal tourism resorts and iconic attractions, as well as the upkeep of arts and culture attractions. Local government competency in this regard often resulted in tourists going to places where they could get mugged, where there was litter or improperly trained tour guides, and the tourists having a negative experience. He suggested a joint meeting with committees such as Arts and Culture, COGTA and local government to come up with ways to improve the ten worst, but most sought after, tourist sites.
The Chairperson confirmed Mr Krumbock’s proposal that the econometric study should be included in the APP, and suggested that Dr Khuzwayo link it with the work that had been done till now. The study could provide the answer as to whether the country was doing enough, or whether the budget allocated to the Department would not adequately fit the marketing process of the country as a tourist attraction. She proposed that the study be put under the strategic objectives between quarters three and four. She requested that in principle they should agree that it was a document of the Committee, in which it planned to achieve its targets, and would be administratively given to Parliament. The Committee could sign off on it on the day where the focus was on internal Committee matters.
Dr Khuzwayo interjected that he would like clarity on what Mr Krumbock had said. In the Committee’s tourism Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) last year, Members had made recommendations to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism. The Office of the Speaker had received an email from the Tourism Department’s management, with the Minister of Finance’s response. One of the recommendations had been that the National Treasury increase resources. There was a budget allocation which was in the estimates of national expenditure, but in his opinion it was too little, which then defeated the purpose of the econometrics study because the Committee had not achieved a budget increase.
He suggested that South African Tourism Department and National Treasury should get together. In the past, the Committee had failed to get a meeting with National Treasury because they had not responded or were busy. The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) had a budget of up to the year 2021, which saw a trend in the expenditure, and the trend did not provide the increase the Committee was looking for. Given the mandate for tourism in terms of socioeconomic impact and what was expected from the sector, the mind-set towards the sector should be different. Perhaps the National Treasury did not understand the tourism sector, which was why a meeting should be held with National Treasury.
The Chairperson said that before involving the National Treasury, they needed the econometrics report because that would inform the Committee’s arguments in the discussion at that meeting. The report would inform the basis of the BRRR process, and the Ministers of Finance and Tourism would be able to base their reallocation on what was in the document.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) said her concern was that the budget could not support the plans of the Committee, and when that happened it stood a chance of not getting the necessary financial assistance from Parliament. A situation would arise where the Committee had under-budgeted and was unable to deal with the challenges or consider plans such as an international study tour where there was no benchmark, because the Committee had never budgeted for them. She also pointed to the fact that some of the budget allocations had remained the same for three years, and this did not seem realistic.
Dr Khuzwayo responded that during the drafting process, there had been no access to quotations. However, quotations were now available and this made it possible to revise the document to a more realistic one. In terms of benchmarking, the study tour had been postponed each year so it would reflect in the document as no money having been spent over the years on a study tour, which was why there were no benchmark budgets for it.
Second quarter Committee programme: 17 April to 15 June
Mr Boltina, Committee Secretary, said the joint programme Committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the National Assembly were going to sit on that day to go through the framework of the institution. The meeting would be followed by a National Assembly programme Committee meeting. From that meeting, the committee programme guidelines would be issued by the Office of the House Chairperson to all Committees which indicated the specific issues to be looked look at in the second term. The capacity of the programme was limited because it had been reduced from eleven weeks to nine weeks. The Committee programme was directed to start from 17 April up to 15 June 2018.
In the week following 18 April, South African Tourism (SAT) would be sitting to table its strategic plan and APP. On Wednesday 2 May, the members would be proposing what the Committee should be dealing with in its report on budget voting and following this, SAT could finalise the Committee Report for members to look at and adopt on the day.
The Committee had a number of invitations from the Minister of Tourism to attend the Tourism Indaba, as well as a meeting with some of the Ministers of Tourism in Africa. From 9 May till 18 May, it was proposed that nothing should be done, as there would be many plenaries during this time. This would also allow the Committee time to follow up on the discussions that would be happening in other departments, because the Department of Tourism had an interest in a number of them, such as the Department of Home Affairs, COGTA and Small Business Development. These debates would inform the legacy report. The balance of the quarter would involve briefings by the Department of Tourism and consideration of the fourth quarter report.
The House Chairperson had indicated he had no reservations with the proposals but wanted the documents submitted administratively so he could consider the Committee’s attendance at the Tourism Indaba. The last time the Department had attended the Indaba was in 2016. The proposed study tour to France was not in the report, but the matter still needed to be pursued outside of the programme. The French Embassy had welcomed the visit, but what was outstanding was the support of the House Chairperson and the Office of the Chief Whip.
Mr S Bekwa (ANC) thanked the Content Advisor and Committee Secretary for the work they had done, and said Members would be very happy with a study tour to France.
Ms Masehela suggested the date for the invitation to the Tourism Indaba be changed in the programme from 8 May to 7 May. The study tour should appear on the programme so that when the House Chairperson approved the programme, it would include approval of the study tour as well.
The Chairperson suggested that the Secretary should include, with the request to the House Chairperson, that the French Portfolio Committee visit the Tourism Portfolio Committee, and it had written to the Committee to request that the visit be returned. This should be included in the report as motivation for the Committee to honour the French Committee’s invitation. She requested that she also be sent the emailed document because she would have to speak to the Chief Whip.
Mr Boltina responded that this had already done, as requested, in the application. However, there were certain items that had to be added. The amendments proposed by Ms Masehela in the programme would be seen to. The meetings had been moved to Wednesday.
Ms S Xego (ANC) seconded the proposal that the amendments suggested in the meeting be included in the programme. She added that a motivation for the Committee’s study tour was that there had been an invitation and it was therefore an exchange programme which needed to be encouraged.
The Chairperson suggested that the 23 June study tour be put on the programme as being a proposal, and subject to approval.
Adoption of Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of 28 March were proposed for adoption after the approval of amendments by Members of the Committee.
Mr Krumbock moved their adoption, and Ms Masehela seconded. The minutes were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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