The National Department of Tourism (NDT) briefed the Committee on its 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan (APP).
Key strategies for radical economic transformation to achieve inclusive growth were highlighted. The strategies were underpinned along three areas ie policy, people and places. In total the NDT had twelve strategic objectives which were spread across its programmes. The NDT’s focus areas included sector transformation, skills development for the sector, destination development including marine and coastal and also enterprise development. Targets for the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) had been revised. The briefing continued with a breakdown of APP targets across the NDT’s four Programmes ie Corporate Management; Tourism Research, Policy & International Relations; Destination Development and lastlyTourism Sector Support Services. On the budget of the NDT the estimated appropriation for 2018/19 was to be just over R2.26bn
Members raised concern that the presentation did not reflect baselines that were used in the setting of targets. If baselines were stated then comparisons could have been made by members. The NDT was asked to provide the Committee with information on projects in the provinces along with their respective budget information. Members were hugely concerned about the safety of tourists in SA. Tourist attacks seemed to be a daily occurrence. What were the NDT, the Department of Justice and the South African Police Service (SAPS) doing about it? The NDT was asked what its understanding of economic transformation was. How did the NDT see it happening? On transformation and contributing towards economic transformation members felt that the NDT needed to take the lead on promoting black products. How did the NDT intend to accelerate transformation in the tourism sector? It was after all up to government to ensure that transformation was taking place. The 30% procurement from Small Medium and Micro Enterprises requirement was a step in the right direction. Another was the payment by government of its service providers within 30 days. Did the NDT comply with this requirement? Besides the township precinct plans that had been presented the NDT was asked whether it had township precinct plans for other provinces as well. Members asked whether the NDT monitored initiatives under the Pipeline Tourism Investment Project and whether timeframes had been set. The NDT was asked whether it was not setting itself an over ambitious target of creating 6 355 Full Time Equivalent jobs. Did the NDT have a staff satisfaction score target as South African Tourism had? Members were concerned about domestic tourism not improving. The NDT was asked whether it had commissioned research as to why domestic tourism was not growing. Market penetration on domestic tourism was needed. The concern on domestic tourism was a real one given SA’s massive unemployment rate of 27%. Members highlighted the possibilities that township economies could have. What was the NDT doing to boost township economies? Concerns were raised as to whether major attractions like Table Mountain and Kruger National Park were being maintained. Members had over the years observed that standards at the Kruger National Park were dropping. The Chairperson reminded the NDT that information relating to provinces be provided to the Committee. He also asked the NDT to share with the Committee what the Minister of Tourism‘s outcomes on participating in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA (BRICS) Bloc and the Southern African Development Community countries were.
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget Vote 33: National Department of Tourism APP 2018/19.
Briefing by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) on its Annual Performance Plan 2018/19
Mr Victor Tharage, Director General, NDT, gave the Committee insight into key strategies for radical economic transformation to achieve inclusive growth. These strategies were underpinned along three areas ie policy, people and places. In total the NDT had twelve strategic objectives which were spread across the various programmes of the NDT. The NDT’s focus areas included sector transformation, skills development for the sector, destination development including marine and coastal and also enterprise development. The Committee was also informed that the targets for the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) had been revised. The briefing continued with a breakdown of APP targets across the NDT’s Programmes ie Corporate Management, Tourism Research, Policy & International Relations, Destination Development and lastly Tourism Sector Support Services.
Programme 1: Corporate Management
Ms Lulama Duma, Deputy Director General, NDT, stated that on the number of strategic documents developed, the planned target for 2018/19 was to have fourteen documents developed. One of these was to have the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan developed. Another was to have the Annual Performance Report for 2017/18 developed. On the vacancy rate, the planned target for 2018/19 was to not have the vacancy rate exceed 8%. For 2018/19 the intention was also to have 100% implementation of the annual internal audit plan.
Programme 2: Tourism Research, Policy & International Relations
Ms Aneme Malan, Deputy Director General, NDT, stated that on the number of policy development initiatives undertaken, for 2018/19 there were two planned initiatives. There were quarterly analysis reports to be developed for both airlift and on visa requirements to inform stakeholder engagements. On the number of capacity building programmes implemented, for 2018/19 the planned target was to have 600 trained youth placed for the New Teacher Induction Mentoring System (NTIMS) data collection.
Programme 3: Destination Development
Ms Shamilla Chettiar, Deputy Director General, NDT, stated that on the number of destination planning initiatives undertaken, the planned target for 2018/19 was to have eleven developed. Amongst them was to have two facilitation sessions hosted in each of the nine provinces as a platform to implement a planning manual as a planning tool. On the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs created through Working for Tourism projects on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), the planned target for 2018/19 was to create 6355 FTE jobs. The previous year the target had been to create 3 085 FTE jobs.
Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services
Ms Chettiar said that on the number of initiatives supported to promote Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) implementation, there were three initiatives planned for 2018/19. One of these was to monitor the implementation of the amended Tourism B-BBEE Sector Code. On the number of initiatives supported to stimulate domestic tourism, there were three initiatives planned for 2018/19. One of these was to have a domestic tourism scheme developed.
Mr Tharage, on the budget of the NDT, stated that the estimated appropriation for 2018/19 was to be just over R2.26bn. More than half of the funds received by the NDT were transferred to South African Tourism for marketing purposes. Expenditure by South African Tourism was monitored by NDT’s Board. The Board directed strategy but got Ministerial approval. At the end of May 2018 the NDT would have a new Board.
Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) said that on the budget expenditure report of the NDT he would have liked to have seen a breakdown per province if possible. The NDT was asked to provide greater detail on projects that it had in the Northern Cape Province and what their budgets were. He was hugely concerned about the safety of tourists in SA. Tourist attacks seemed to be becoming a daily occurrence. What were the NDT, the Department of Justice and the South African Police Services (SAPS) doing about it? He explained that when a tourist was attacked on Table Mountain a case was made at the SAPS. Once the vacation was over, the tourist returned home. It might happen that the SAPS manage to arrest suspects and the tourist was required to return to SA to identify the perpetrator. Perpetrators were seeing tourists as easy targets as they were well aware that cases would never make it to court as the victims were abroad. All required departments needed to get together to come up with a solution. The NDT was asked whether it had considered using tourism marketing companies as countries in Europe did. Why companies overseas could not be used to market SA as a destination? These companies could offer travel incentives as rewards for its top achievers ie to win a trip to SA.
Mr Tharage, on the breakdown of finances, stated that the information was available for some projects. He explained that if other agencies were involved it made things difficult. Training for youth figures could be provided to the Committee. He noted that the tourist/visitor safety issue was a policy one. Colleagues in the Justice Crime Prevention & Security (JCPS) Cluster were better equipped to speak on the matter. He did venture to say that there were lessons that could be learnt from hosting the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. During that tournament at OR Tambo International Airport a court had been set up to expedite cases as soon as possible. The collective message should be that safety was a collective responsibility. The downside was that the psychology of the market had already been affected. Every South African had a role to play. Perpetrators had to be reported. Nobody should keep quiet. A societal change was needed. He pointed out that South African Tourism did do work on incentive travel. On the domestic market it might not work too well. The current need for workers at present was wages. Anything other than real money would not be acceptable. The current bus strike was a case in point. One also had to look at the extent of the spend when people travelled to SA.
Ms Chettiar, on destination development, stated that in the Northern Cape Province R6m had been spent on various Master Planning initiatives. Work was being done at the Big Hole in Kimberley. Master Planning included roads etc which did not only cover connectivity for tourism. On tourist safety the NDT was coordinating with the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA), South African Tourism and the SAPS. The issue was about how to deal with safety and support and also how to report incidents. It was a matter that was being looked at. The NDT had a safety monitors’ project which provided eyes and ears on the ground. The NDT also worked with the Department of Environmental Affairs which had green monitors to keep a watch on possible poachers. Safety was a large initiative. She added that the NDT did have a travel incentive programme. Destination Management Companies (DMCs) was an area of work that would be focussed on by South African Tourism.
Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) was concerned that the presentation did not reflect any baselines that were used in the setting of targets. If baselines were stated then comparisons could be made by members. On transformation and contributing towards economic transformation he felt that the NDT should take the lead on promoting black products. At present hundreds of government officials were attending budget vote debates in Parliament. Why could they not be staying in black owned places of accommodation? In the Eastern Cape Province complaints were received that chalets and conference facilities of black owned establishments were not utilised. It was up to government to ensure that transformation was taking place, hence the 30% procurement from SMMEs requirement. The NDT was asked whether it adhered to the requirement of paying service providers within 30 days. Besides township precinct plans elaborated upon in the presentation the NDT was asked whether it had township precinct plans for other provinces as well. The NDT was asked to explain what the biometric time and attendance system was. On the Pipeline Tourism Investment Project there were 80 initiatives in total but nine were bankable. Did the NDT monitor them and were timeframes set? He asked whether the NDT was not setting an over ambitious target with the figure of 6 355 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs. On the target of having a vacancy rate of 8% he asked what was the baseline that was used. The NDT was asked whether it had a staff satisfaction score target as South African Tourism had. Were there any targets set on domestic trips and international tourist arrivals? On which day was Tourism Day and where was it to be held? The NDT was also asked when the Research Seminar was to take place. He noted that he was yet to see Minister of Tourism Mr Derek Hanekom attend a Committee meeting.
Mr Tharage wished to place it on record that the reason why Minister Hanekom was unable to attend the meeting was because on Wednesdays when the Committee met cabinet also had its meetings. He noted the need for the NDT to identify baselines in the presentation but said that the tabled APP did contain baseline information. The NDT did comply with the 30% Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) procurement requirement. He felt that travel services should also include the 30% requirement. He added that if things were outsourced then it must go to SMMEs. He however pointed out that the 30% procurement to SMMEs did not necessarily mean that it went to black businesses. The issue was whether the SMMEs that the business went to were black. There was a requirement that SMMEs had to be graded. Cabinet had taken a decision that government should use graded establishments. The NDT had an awareness programme that ran across the provinces. He noted that the payment within 30 days requirement was included in his performance agreement. The NDT’s performance currently sat at 99.9% when it came to the payment of service providers within 30 days. If payments were not made timeaously then there should be valid reasons.
Ms Duma stated for 2017/18 the vacancy rate had been 6.2% and had been used as a baseline. If actual performance was below what was planned then targets could be reduced. The NDT had to prioritise which posts it had to fill. On staff satisfaction the NDT was currently doing a culture survey. A final report on it was still to be received. Tourism Day was on the 27th September 2018 and celebrations were to be held in the Eastern Cape Province. The Committee would be provided with details.
Ms Chettiar said that there were other precinct plans in the pipeline other than those mentioned in the presentation. The issue was about improving infrastructure development, safety and access etc. Precinct development had many elements attached to it. It went broader than the precinct itself. On the Pipeline Tourism Investment Project, the target was to get nine to 20 bankable projects. In the end all 80 projects had to be bankable. She conceded that 6 355 was an ambitious target for FTE jobs for youth. That figure was based on best planning for November 2017. She was confident that the target would be reached. Training went beyond the provision of skills. The focus was on encouraging entrepreneurship. Skills development focussed on entrepreneurship training.
Ms Malan said that the Research Seminar was to take place at the end of the financial year. For 2018 it took place on 16 February 2018. She emphasised that time was needed for research to be done. She explained that the biometric time and attendance system was used to assist with Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Projects. It allowed tracking of who had attended and when the individuals had left. The direct contribution of tourism to GDP was between 2.7% and 3%. The direct contribution of tourism to jobs was between 4.2% and 4.5%. The NDT had a research agenda. There was a list of research projects. There was a Policy Research Expert Forum hosted by the Minister of Tourism.
Mr L Magwebu (DA, Eastern Cape) was concerned about domestic tourism not improving. International tourism figures seemed to be better. The NDT was asked whether it had commissioned research on why domestic tourism was not growing. What could be done to turn things around? It was a concern given SA’s unemployment rate of 27%. He pointed out that if SA Tourism had destination marketing companies what role the NDT played. Efforts needed to come to fruition as employment opportunities for youth were needed. He was a strong believer in the township economy. The NDT was asked to unpack what was happening at the Khayelitsha precinct. He had visited Khayelitsha and had observed a vibrant economy. There were lots of activities. What was the NDT doing about boosting township economies?
Mr Tharage said that he had gone to Look Out Hill in Khayelitsha and had visited Gugulethu. He had tasted some of the local cuisine on offer which included lamb shank and pap. He pointed out that Look Out Hill needed some work/maintenance but generally on the retail side things were going well.
Ms Chettiar explained that the idea was to maximise Look Out Hill and on how to make a link up with Monwabisi Beach. She added that there was a plan in place to deal with precincts. There was a focus on townships. The NDT had reviewed its Domestic Tourism Strategy. The challenge was around pricing. There was also a need to develop packages that spoke to domestic tourists and to locals who visited friends and relatives (VFR). There was a need get a nuance of how South Africans travelled. There was without a doubt a concerted effort to address domestic tourism.
Mr B Nthebe (ANC, North West) asked how the NDT intended to accelerate transformation in the tourism sector. Market penetration was needed for domestic tourism. The issue was about how to get new entrants into the fold. Tourism had to create SMMEs and cooperatives that were viable and vibrant. He was aware that it was not NDT’s responsibility to keep tourists safe but some type of acting was needed.
Mr Tharage, on transformation, stated that there was the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council that monitored the state of tourism in the sector. The B-BBEE Charter Council had published a state of tourism report the previous financial year. It would be provided to the Committee. It covered the B-BBEE Codes. Aspects like procurement could be covered by the Codes. Ownership was also covered in the Codes. Government procurement on travel sat at R10bn. On access to funding for businesses, there were initiatives in place. The requirement was that the business had to be 51% black for new entrants. Persons were being trained to become entrepreneurs in the future. The funding was accessed in the form of a grant. He stated that there were many issues to consider around domestic tourism. A great deal could be done. The problem was that the NDT had a great deal of plans but did not necessarily have the funds.
Ms Chettiar said that training went beyond the provision of skills. The focus was on encouraging entrepreneurship. Skills development focussed on entrepreneurship training.
Dr Y Vawda (EFF, Mpumalanga) asked what percentage contribution tourism contributed towards SA’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He asked how the NDT identified areas of research. It was all good and well that major tourist attractions like Table Mountain and the Kruger National Park was doing well but were they being maintained properly. He had over the years observed a decline in the standards at Kruger National Park. The Pipeline of Tourism was a good idea. He pointed out that the Sudwala Caves in Mpumalanga Province was a beautiful attraction but nothing was said on it in the briefing. What was the NDT’s understanding of economic transformation? How did the NDT see it happening? He stated that it was obvious that the NDT had an excellent Board.
Ms Chettiar, on maintenance, noted that the NDT was working with South African National Parks on a plan for maintenance. The Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Team was also to have funds ring-fenced for maintenance. The idea was to maintain infrastructure.
The Chairperson asked that information relating to provinces be provided to the Committee. He also asked the NDT to share with the Committee what the Minister of Tourism‘s outcomes on participating in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA (BRICS) Bloc and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries were.
Ms Malan stated that the Committee could be provided with information on the outcomes of multilateral forums.
Committee Report on Department Budget Vote
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget Vote 33: National Department of Tourism APP 2018/19.
Minutes dated 17 April 2018 was adopted unamended.
The meeting was adjourned.
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