The Committee’s Content Advisor reported on the Department of Tourism’s fourth quarter performance report for 2017/18, and highlighted that the Department and South African Tourism (SAT) had failed to achieve their targets for the quarter. The Department had achieved only 88.1% of its targets, while SAT had achieved 68.3%. Recommendations were made for the Minister of Tourism to put pressure on both the Department and SAT to put measures in place to improve the performance of the tourism industry.
The Committee was briefed on the High Level Panel (HLP) report, which had assessed the content and implementation of legislation passed since 1994 in terms of its effectiveness and possible unintended consequences. The HLP had found that there had been unintended consequences from the immigration regulations promulgated of 2014, which had required that the parents of all children who traveled to and from South Africa had to produce an unabridged birth certificate reflecting the particulars of both parents. The consequence had been that a decline in arrivals, particularly among female tourists, into South Africa. This had affected the tourism industry and employment negatively. This was highlighted as really challenging, since one in every seven people in rural areas relied on the tourism industry for their livelihood.
Minutes from previous meetings were also presented and adopted.
In the absence of Chairperson Makhubele-Mashele owing to ill health, Ms S Xego (ANC) was chosen to chair the meeting. It was agreed that she would also chair the meeting the following day.
Draft Fourth Quarter Performance Report
Mr Sibusiso Khuzwayo, Content Advisor: Portfolio Committee on Tourism, began the presentation of the 2017-18 fourth quarter performance report by highlighting that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) had performed fairly well across all four programmes. It had achieved 61 of its 68 targets, which represented an 88.1% achievement. The breakdown by programme had been:
- Tourism Policy and Planning – 100%;
- Tourism Sector Support Services – 89.3%;
- Corporate Management -- 88.2%; and
- Destination Development -- 75%.
The Department had underperformed throughout the year, recording a performance of 77.74% in the first quarter, 89.64% in the second, and 79.4% in the third. The underperformance was aligned with specific projects, such as the implementation of the Tourism Incentive Programme, national Tourism Information Gateways, and the development of the Social Tourism Scheme.
Looking at expenditure across all four programmes, a total of R234.1 million had been allocated to Corporate Management Support, and this had been overspent by R7.8 million, which was due to overspending on compensation of employees (CoE). The Department had underspent R6.4 million from an available budget of R1.203 billion on Tourism Policy and Planning. Overspending of R1.7 million on a budget of R431.9 million had been realised on Destination Development, which was also a result of excess spending on CoE. Lastly, Tourism Sector Support Services had underspent by R9.3 million from a budget of R271.1 million as a result of the energy efficiency project within the Tourism Incentive Programme.
The report also referred to the performance of South African Tourism (SAT) against key performance indicators. SAT had been chasing a total of 33 targets for the financial year, 25 of which were due for reporting in the fourth quarter. The entity had achieved only 16 of the 25 targets, which accounted for a 68.3% achievement. This underperformance was pinned to critical and core key performance indicators, such as the number of international arrivals and the number of domestic trips.
Mr Khuzwayo stressed that SAT had failed to execute its core mandate of marketing South Africa domestically and internationally. It was benchmarked on five key performance indicators or programmes, of which only three had been achieved. It had achieved 100% on corporate support, business enablement and business events, 41.7% on leisure tourism marketing, and zero on visitors’ experience.
Mr Khuzwayo also highlighted eight recommendations for the Minister of Tourism:
- The Minister should ensure that SAT puts measures in place as a turnaround strategy to catch up on the targets set out in the 5-in-5 strategy, to ensure an increase in international arrivals and domestic trips.
- Intensify collaboration efforts among various role-players in combating the crimes committed against tourists, to safeguard the destination brand image.
- Urgently engage SAT on the continued poor performance on the grading of the establishments, and consider changing the grading system from voluntary, to free but compulsory, to safeguard quality assurance in destination South Africa.
- The Minister should engage with the Minister of Home Affairs on removing detrimental visa requirements, to improve the ease of travel and the image of destination South Africa.
- Ensure that the Department augments the work done by the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council on transformation through continually conceptualizing strategies and projects that enhance the transformation on the tourism sector.
- To continually undertake the impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis of all departmental programmes and projects to ensure value for money, and to do more with less budget.
- Ensure that staff is fully capacitated to deliver on the departmental mandate through continuous staff training and development programmes, to eliminate the use of consultants in implementing departmental programmes.
- Lastly, to brief the Committee on the proposed revision of the Tourism Bill.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) added a consideration that there had been failure in terms of inter-ministerial collaboration to improve tourism. He mentioned that high crime rates were affecting the tourism industry, and little was being done to curb it.
The Chairperson tabled a suggestion for inter-ministerial collaboration to be added to the recommendation, and Mr S Bekwa (ANC) supported the proposal.
High Level Panel Report: Committee response
Mr Khuzwayo said that in December 2015, the Speaker’s Forum had moved to establish an independent panel of eminent South Africans to assess the content and implementation of legislation passed since 1994 in respect of its effectiveness and possible unintended consequences.
The major finding of the High Level Panel (HLP) Report had been the unintended consequences of the Immigration Regulations promulgated in 2014, in giving effect to the Immigration Act, No 13 of 2002. The issue raised was that Regulation 6(2) passed in terms of the Act required that the parents of all children who travelled to and from South Africa produce an unabridged birth certificate reflecting particulars of both parents. The consequence had been a decline in arrivals of, among others, female tourists into South Africa, and this had affected the tourism industry and employment negatively. This was highlighted as really challenging, since one in every seven people in rural areas relied on the tourism industry for their livelihood.
Another finding had been that with regard to land reform, the economic and development outcome of restitution had been very poor. A study conducted by the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) had found that the majority of the 179 land redistribution projects they had assessed had not met their developmental objectives, which had had an impact on tourism.
The HLP had recommended that Parliament should pass legislation that would require the state to invest resources to develop low-end tourism destinations in rural areas and the periphery, where the majority of the population lives, gradually to attract tourists. Parliament should conduct a fresh review of the requirement on unabridged birth certificate for minors, in consultation with all role-players in the tourism industry.
The Portfolio Committee’s recommendations were that:
- The Speaker should write a letter to the Minister of Tourism requesting him to expedite the legislative review process currently under way, and ensure that the Tourism Amendment Bill discursively contains clauses that facilitate transformation and investments in the tourism sector.
- The Speaker should write a letter to the Leader of Government Business requesting that government update Parliament on the strides made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on removing the unintended consequences of immigration regulations on various sectors, including tourism and investment in South Africa, with the intention to effect regulation amendments before end of the 2018/2019 financial year.
- The Speaker should write a letter to the Leader of Government Business requesting him to engage the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and the National Treasury to ensure that tourism is prioritised at the provincial and local government level through determining a percentage of budget that should be allocated to tourism in the Division of Revenue allocation.
Mr J Vos (DA) asked if the Local Economic Development Fund (LEDF) could not be added to the tourism budget, and asked for an update on electronic visas.
The Chairperson recommended that the LEDF be discussed at the next day’s meeting of the Committee. The Committee agreed.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC)asked for timeframes to be attached to the engagements.
Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) asked if it was possible to ensure that local structures considered tourism as one of their priorities, through some kind of enforcement. Local leaders did not see tourism as their business.
The Chairperson said that tourism was a concurrent function, so that would be a recommendation for the Speaker. She requested additional recommendations or approval of the report.
The report was approved, with the addition of the recommendations.
Adoption of minutes
The minutes of the meeting of June 6 2018 were presented. Mr Vos moved their adoption and was seconded by Mr Bekwa. The minutes were adopted.
The minutes of the meeting of August 16 were presented. Mr Vos moved their adoption and was seconded by Mr Bekwa. The minutes were adopted.
The minutes of the meeting of August 2018 were presented. Ms Bam-Mugwanya moved their adoption and Mr Vos seconded her. The minutes were adopted.
The minutes of the meeting held on September 6 were presented. Mr Vos moved their adoption and was seconded by Mr Bekwa. The minutes were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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