Draft Committee Annual Report January - December 2018
The Committee was taken through its draft Annual Report January - December 2018. The intention was for the Annual Report, the Committee’s Budgetary Review Recommendations Report (BRRR) and the Committee’s Legacy Report to assist the incoming Committee in the Sixth Parliament. Much of what was contained in the Annual Report was already contained in the Committee’s Legacy Report which the Committee had already dealt with. Hence only certain aspects of the Annual Report were highlighted ie Committees focus areas for 2018, key areas for future work, key challenges emerging for the sector and finally recommendations by the Committee.
The Annual Report was placed before the Committee for consideration. Grammatical and spelling changes were effected to the Annual Report. The Annual Report was adopted as amended.
Tourism Month and World Tourism Day Activity Report - September 2018
The Report had been compiled after the Committee had undertaken a visit to observe the World Tourism Day in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province on 26-27 September 2018. The Committee was taken through the Report as well. No changes were made to the Report and it was adopted unamended.
Members did feel that the Transkei held huge potential for tourism. Ex-President Mr Nelson Mandela himself hailed from the area. Even the Nelson Mandela Museum in the area was losing its prominence. Members said that the problem was that all three spheres of government on development and particularly on tourism worked in silos. How could municipalities be convinced to prioritise tourism? Tourism could grow economies and create jobs. Suggestions made to municipalities seemed to fall on deaf ears. Municipalities in their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) did not provide for tourism. The Ports St John area also held great potential.
The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee, in its Legacy Report, had made recommendations that tourism should be included in IDPs. She added that provincial authorities needed to support the tourism sector in municipalities. The Report was placed before the Committee for adoption and it was adopted unamended.
Election of Acting Chairperson
In the absence of the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms L Makhubele-Mashele (ANC) who was off sick the Committee elected Ms P Adams (ANC) as Acting Chairperson.
The Acting Chairperson asked Dr Sibusiso Khuzwayo the Committee Content Adviser to present the Committee’s Annual Report to members.
Draft Committee Annual Report January - December 2018
Dr Khuzwayo stated that the Committee’s Budgetary Review Recommendations Report (BRRR), the Committee’s Legacy Report and the Annual Report were all there to assist the incoming Committee in the Sixth Parliament. He noted that most of the recommendations of the Committee were in its BRRR. He explained that the structure of the Annual Report used the same template as the Committee’s Legacy Report. Most of the information in the two Reports were the same as well. The Committee had already dealt with its Legacy Report. For this reason he would not repeat things and would only highlight certain aspects of the Annual Report.
Committee’s focus areas for 2018:
Compliance with the Framework for Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans - the Committee ensured that both the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and SA Tourism implemented their Annual Performance Plans accordingly.
Domestic Tourism - the Committee ensured that the NDT remained focussed on improving domestic tourism through a number of programmes including domestic marketing campaigns introduced by SA Tourism.
International Arrivals - the Committee scrutinised the reasons for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Some of the issues the Committee looked at were ease of access, immigration regulations and airlift.
Support Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) - the Committee was seized with the interventions implemented in supporting emerging tourism enterprises. This culminated in several initiatives which included the capitalisation of the Tourism Transformation Fund to the tune of R40m for the 2018/19 financial year.
Transformation - the Committee continued to emphasise the importance of transformation of the tourism sector as it remained for the most part untransformed. The Committee had asked the Tourism Broad- Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council to elaborate on their initiatives to advance transformation.
Rural and township tourism - the Committee continued to advocate for the development and support to rural and township tourism enterprises. This was regarded as a niche market that could significantly contribute to tourism’s product mix and to the transformation of the sector.
Key areas for future work:
Tourism Amendment Bill - the NDT was unable to table the Bill to Parliament in the 2018/19 financial year. This had caused the tourism sector to lag behind on technology and on industry trends that should be regulated to ensure consistency and quality assurance. One of the reasons given for not tabling the Bill included changes in the Tourism Ministry during the 5th Parliament. The Bill was expected to be tabled in cabinet during the 2019/20 financial year for approval to publish for comment.
Conversion of Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) and business tourists - The domestic market was still dominated by the VFR segment. Business tourism was doing well. Both these segments were not converted into leisure tourism. More work was needed to drive conversion.
Rural and township tourism - the Committee had done oversight on programmes meant to drive rural and township tourism but it became evident that more work needed to be done. Rural and township tourism was low hanging fruit that was there for the taking.
Working For Tourism (WFT) Projects - The WFT Projects were the former Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) Projects. The Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) had been tasked to review the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects implemented as the WFT to ensure proper implementation. A follow up was necessary to determine a final list of the projects to be supported and the operational model to be used for the sustainability of the projects.
Funding - the Committee still believed that the sector was underfunded. However there was no idea of how much was needed. The Committee had asked that an econometric study be done to set an amount. The Committee had also called for the Tourism Vote to be increased but it was in vain. This was despite the sector being identified as one of the economic pillars of the country.
Key challenges emerging for the sector:
Delays in finalising projects - the Committee had identified a recurring challenge of delays in the implementation of projects as set out in the NDT’s Annual Performance Plan (APP). One of the problems was around poor planning.
Staff competency to deliver on the APP - the NDT had failed to implement some of its projects as contained in its APP due to a lack of competent skills by responsible officials.
Regression in the findings of the Auditor General of SA - the Committee was concerned about the audit findings for the 2017/18 financial year wherein both the NDT and SA Tourism had regressed by receiving unqualified audit opinions with findings. The performance of both organisations should be monitored to ensure that they returned to clean audit findings of years past.
Joint Marketing Agreements (JMAs) - Both the Committee and the Auditor General had raised concerns about how SA Tourism identified and concluded JMAs with third parties and monitored the implementation thereof. Currently, SA Tourism had placed a moratorium on the signing of new JMAs. This matter should be monitored by the 6th parliament.
Domestic Marketing Campaigns - SA Tourism had commissioned several Sho’t Left domestic marketing campaigns particularly using television media. The problem was that the campaigns did not direct potential domestic tourists to specific destinations and attractions to ensure bookings were made. The campaigns should be improved and booking engines should be attached to advertisements.
Negative perceptions of SA - Alarms had been raised in markets such as Asia and Europe over safety in SA. Some governments had even issued travel advisories to its citizens about safety concerns in SA. In response safety monitors had been rolled out in certain high traffic zones in SA. However, more public relations work should be done to mitigate impacts of incidents against tourists and the negative reporting thereof.
Quality assurance - the Committee had conducted oversight over the Tourism Grading Council of SA (TGCSA). New grading criteria had been introduced with a basket of benefits to incentivise grading. SMMEs were also subsidised to cover grading costs. Albeit the stringent oversight work and incentives provided to facilitate grading, quality assurance remained a challenge in SA.
Recommendations by the Committee:
- The NDT should improve in the implementation of planned projects through conducting proper planning and forward planning for all projects contained in its APP.
- The NDT should empower its employees to conduct their responsibilities through skills development programmes, particularly on strategy formulation.
- The NDT should provide continuous skills development programmes for its staff to remain relevant in their respective job portfolios.
- SA Tourism should improve on their domestic marketing campaigns through channelling potential tourists to particular destination and providing booking details.
The Acting Chairperson took the Committee through the Annual Report page by page encouraging members to make changes where they deemed necessary. Grammatical and spelling changes were effected to the document.
The Annual Report was adopted with amendments.
Tourism Month and World Tourism Day Activity Report September 2018
The Acting Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary, Mr Jerry Boltina, to take the Committee through the Report.
Mr Boltina acceded to the request and took members through the Report. The Report was compiled after the Committee had undertaken a visit to observe the World Tourism Day in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province on 26-27 September 2018. He however did point out that only three members had been allowed to go on oversight. Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC), being from the area, had also attended which made the total of members attending, four.
Ms Bam-Mugwanya felt that the Transkei held huge potential for tourism. Ex-President Mr Nelson Mandela himself hailed from the area. Even the Nelson Mandela Museum in the area was losing its prominence. She said that the problem was that all three spheres of government on development and particularly on tourism worked in silos. How could municipalities be convinced to prioritise tourism? It had the potential to grow economies and create jobs. Suggestions made to municipalities seemed to fall on deaf ears. Municipalities in their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) did not provide for tourism. She suggested that perhaps SA Tourism could approach mayors. She also felt the Ports St John area to hold great potential.
The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee - in its Legacy Report - had made recommendations that tourism should be included in IDPs. She added that provincial authorities needed to support the tourism sector in municipalities. The Report was placed before the Committee for adoption.
The Committee adopted the Report unamended.
Minutes dated 11 September 2018; 10, 11, 17, 24 & 31 October 2018 as well as 7 November 2018 were adopted unamended. Minutes dated 12 September 2018; 9 October 2018 and 14 November 2018 was adopted as amended. Most of the amendments were of a spelling and grammatical nature.
Mr G Krumbock (DA), on minutes of 9 October 2018, asked that it be reflected in the minutes that he had asked that the Auditor General of SA perform a performance audit as well as a financial audit. On the minutes of 14 November 2018 he also wished it to reflect that he had suggested that the Committee annually draft an interim legacy report. He noted that the Committee at the time had agreed to it.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) confirmed that Mr Krumbock had suggested some sort of interim legacy report and that the Chairperson at the time had agreed to it.
Mr Boltina said that in the minutes of 14 November 2018 the necessary changes to reflect what Mr Krumbock had said would be made. He however suggested that the interim legacy report be called an annual report of the Committee for that particular year.
The Committee agreed to the change.
The meeting was adjourned.
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