The Committee introduced its Legislature Tourism Oversight Forum (LOTOFO) Concept Document to provincial legislatures, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and to the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) and encouraged discussion around it.
The Committee had identified the need to strengthen relationships with traditional leaders, the local government sphere (SALGA) and the provincial legislature. Parliament did not have the equivalent of Ministerial Members of Executive Committees (MinMECs). The Committee therefore took a resolution to meet on a quarterly basis with its counterparts in the provinces. The proposed LOTOFO was not meant to duplicate or infringe on the constitutional mandate of both provinces and municipalities. The Committee had come to the realisation that tourism was a seamless social and economic activity that knew no boundaries.
The Parliament-Legislatures Tourism Oversight Forum will focus its efforts on villages, townships and small towns (dorpies).
All the legislatures and other entities present at the meeting gave their support to the forum, and going forward, a Memorandum of Understanding will be drafted and circulated to provinces for their input before the close of business by Parliament for the year.
The Committee noted that tourism should be a benefit to all and that it was low hanging fruit. It emphasised that there had to be minimal barriers to entry and people should leverage on the opportunities in tourism.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone present to the meeting. This included members of the Committee, chairpersons and members of provincial legislature committees, representatives from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as well as the Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi Sipho Mahlangu.
Everyone was given an opportunity to introduce themselves.
Apologies had been received from the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and North West Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee Chairpersons’ dealing with tourism.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee was commencing a new process to be able to execute its mandate better. From the perspective of tourism, participation of people on the ground had to be strengthened. Poverty, inequality and unemployment were the triple challenges being faced in SA. These challenges were more prevalent in villages, townships and small dorpies. Villages were worst off followed by townships and then small dorpies. Parliament had a three-pronged mandate ie make laws, had a responsibility to ensure that there was public participation and lastly had to conduct oversight over the Executive. The challenge was about putting people at the centre of the aforementioned responsibilities.
The Committee had identified the need to strengthen relationships with traditional leaders, the local government sphere (SALGA) and the provincial legislature. Parliament did not have the equivalent of Ministerial Members of Executive Committees (MinMECs). The Committee therefore took a resolution to meet on a quarterly basis with its counterparts in the provinces. The issue was about how to deal with challenges from an oversight perspective. He emphasised the need for synchronisation. The process being put in place was a new one and was by no means perfect as yet. Schedule 4, Parts A and B of the constitution stated that tourism was a concurrent function between national, provincial and local government. Traditional leaders too had a part to play. The Committee needed to know the name of each and every village in provinces. The economic situation in each village had to be assessed. All relevant departments needed to come on board. Economic development was needed. People in villages should be at the centre of driving transformation. On a quarterly basis, by way of the Legislature Tourism Oversight Forum (LOTOFO), challenges in villages, townships and small dorpies would be dealt with. Tasks with timelines attached would be metered out and had to be performed. The role of the SALGA was important in Local Economic Development (LED). LED needed to be the full time activity of every mayor. To date LED had not been prioritised. He continued that budgets needed to speak to the challenges of people. The long term goal was to have a prosperous society. Injustices of the past had to be dealt with. He cautioned against antagonising and pulling SA’s society apart in doing so.
Briefing on Legislature Tourism Oversight Forum (LOTOFO) Concept Document
Dr Sibusiso Khuzwayo, Committee Content Adviser, stated that the Concept Document was a working document that could be amended or be made additions to. The Committee had looked at the Legacy Report of the 5th Parliament Committee and observed that the Committee was very limited in its ability to do oversight. For the five year term the Committee was perhaps only able to do oversight to provinces once each. The need therefore arose to address the issue. The Committee had in principle adopted the Concept Document and was now introducing it to its counterparts. He stated that he would not present the document verbatim but would zoom into important issues.
The Committee intended to involve provincial legislatures as an integral part of its oversight work and the best way to make the collaboration feasible was the LOTOFO.
He touched on the purpose, objectives and rationale for the LOTOFO which included identifying areas of cooperation and establishing institutional arrangements that would strengthen oversight on tourism.
On challenges emerging due to the concurrency of the tourism function, the Committee was well aware of the constitutional autonomy of provinces and municipalities. The proposed LOTOFO was not meant to duplicate or infringe on the constitutional mandate of both provinces and municipalities. The Committee had come to the realisation that tourism was a seamless social and economic activity that knew no boundaries. Tourists were interested in experiences not geopolitical boundaries. An overview of the Committee’s oversight mandate was provided. The roles and responsibilities of the LOTOFO included providing a platform for the legislative sector to discuss national, provincial and local tourism oversight issues, including tourism planning, tourism development, marketing, the impact of legislation, policies, by laws and other issues of mutual interest. Guiding principles of the LOTOFO was to have alignment of national, provincial and local government oversight and to have effective and efficient oversight and scrutiny over Executive action. Important critical success factors included the need for transparent and effective communication amongst all stakeholders and that common oversight issues had to be identified with agreement on a common cause of action. On the duration and dissolution of the LOTOFO the intention was for it to continue into subsequent Tourism Portfolio Committees for better coordination of tourism oversight. Terms of reference was spoken to which served to guide the activities and management of the LOTOFO. These covered the composition of the LOTOFO, its chairpersonship and its secretariat services. On conflict resolution should any dispute arise the LOTOFO would use the Intergovernmental Dispute Prevention and Settlement: Guidelines for Effective Conflict Management as provided for in the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act (Act 3 of 2005).
Finally, he added that the Committee’s support staff was in communication with Parliament’s Legislative Sector Support (LSS) Unit.
The Chairperson opened the floor to firstly provinces and thereafter SALGA to comment. Inkosi Mahlangu would be given an opportunity to make a contribution as well.
Mr Tandlana Smit (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance, Police and Traditional Affairs in the Free State Provincial Legislature, who was standing in for Mr Jabulane Radebe (ANC) Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Rural Economic Development, Small Business, Tourism, Sport, Arts and Culture, stated that he realised that there needed to be a close working relationships between all provinces if the LOTOFO was to work. Tourism knew no boundaries. It was a national issue. He felt that the Forum needed to meet as soon as possible.
Mr James Nxumalo (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development and Tourism in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, said that LOTOFO was supported and commended the Committee for the good work done on the Concept Document. Referring to the composition of the LOTOFO, he asked if it would not be too large in size if it represented all provinces. Was it practical and feasible? He was not sure whether the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature had sent its list of villages, townships and small dorpies to the Committee.
Ms Phumelele Ndamase (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, was in support of the LOTOFO as it would assist with coordination of work. She would go back to the Legislature and report back to members of her Committee on the LOTOFO.
Mr Selelo Selamolela (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the Limpopo Provincial Legislature, too commended the Committee on the work done around the LOTOFO. He emphasised the importance of concluding Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). The MOUs could improve effectiveness in the national and provincial sphere. He, like Mr Nxumalo, had concerns around the size of the LOTOFO. Perhaps if the size was smaller it would be better to manage it. He would nevertheless support the composition as it was if everyone was okay with it. The Legislature was working on the Committee’s request for lists of villages and small dorpies. He asked to be provided with the latest version of the Concept Document as the one presented was a later version than what was provided earlier.
A female legal adviser representing the North West Provincial Legislature on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Ms Bitsa Lenkopane (ANC), said that the Province had received the Concept Document on the LOTOFO and would be discussing it.
Ms Rhoda Mathabie, Chairperson of the SALGA Economic, Empowerment and Job Creation National Working Committee, stated that the SALGA welcomed the initiative. Joint planning should be driven so that the needs of the people could be met. She stressed the importance of Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) sessions. She also felt that intergovernmental relations should be promoted. Each and every stakeholder should be supported. Progress reports were important. She further felt that there was a need for financial institutions to do away with red tape when it came to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). There was a need to take higher learning and educational institutions on board as well.
The Chairperson stated that members of the Committee should also feel free to comment if they so wished.
Ms S Xego (ANC) was concerned about some of the provinces being absent from the meeting. The Committee needed to get buy in on the LOTOFO. What would be the way forward now?
A female support staff member from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature said that representation from Gauteng was present. The matter of the LOTOFO would be taken forward by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms Lindiwe Lasindwa (ANC), could unfortunately not make it to the meeting but the LOTOFO would be discussed by the Committee.
Mr P Moteka (EFF) said that something was being started that had not been done before. The support that the Committee had received thus far was appreciated. The Committee’s concern was that most of tourism’s efforts were concentrated in big cities. Villages were oblivious to what tourism was all about. It had to be remembered that villages, townships and small dorpies were part of SA. Change was not easy but it was coming. The sooner that provinces not present in the meeting be approached the better it would be. The Committee’s priority was to take the benefits of SA’s democracy to villages, townships and small dorpies.
Ms M Gomba (ANC) appreciated the presence of provinces that had attended the meeting. She was pleased that the SALGA had also attended the meeting. Local government received information via the SALGA.
Mr N Galo (AIC) appreciated the input from provinces. It was a sign of good things to come. The LOTOFO would provide for better oversight on what was happening on the ground. He too appreciated the vision of the Chairperson on the LOTOFO. The Chairperson was a value-based kind of leader that all portfolio committees in parliament should have.
The Chairperson, on the way forward, observed that there seemed to be agreement by provinces, the NHTL and the SALGA to provide feedback to their constituencies. He asked if there was agreement to meet up again before February 2020.
Provinces present were all in agreement.
The Chairperson said that a Draft MOU would be ready by 10 December 2019 and it would be sent to all stakeholders. Provinces with rural areas needed to send their lists of villages together with information on them to the Committee. SALGA needed to provide the Committee with lists of townships and small dorpies. The lists and information received by the Committee would be forwarded to Statistics SA as they lacked the information. The lists and information requested had to be provided to the Committee by January 2020. The information needed to be captured on technological platforms so that when one Googled a village name then the information should come up on Google. SALGA had also proposed that tertiary institutions be taken on board. On the matter of the numbers of attendees at meetings and the concern that the numbers would be far too large, he clarified that it was only the chairperson of portfolio committees of provincial legislatures that would attend. On the provinces that had not attended the meeting, he stated that the meeting’s outcome and relevant documentation would be sent to them.
Mr Jerry Boltina Committee Secretary, explained that notices had been sent to all provinces. The Western Cape Chairperson could not make the meeting as there was an all-day sitting in the Legislature. The Chairperson of the Western Cape Portfolio Committee had requested to be sent the outcome of the meeting. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee in the North West could also not make the meeting as there was a meeting with National Treasury. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee from Gauteng had initially intended to make it to the meeting but something had come up hence a representative was sent. All provinces supported the LOTOFO initiative.
Mr Smit understood that it was chairpersons only that were supposed to meet quarterly but asked if the chairperson could not make, was it acceptable to send a representative?
The Chairperson said that sending a representative should be acceptable. He thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He urged SALGA from an economic perspective to impress upon municipalities to look at dealing with challenges around job creation, unemployment and even laws that could be obstacles. Economic development needed to take place. Municipalities had to discuss their respective economies. Economic growth of the municipality and the role that tourism played was important.
He said that positive messages should be sent out about SA being a safe destination. Discussions should take place with role players like the South African Police Services (SAPS) and communities. If tourists were not to going to be attracted to SA, then the 21m target by 2030 set by President Cyril Ramaphosa would not be met. Pressure would be placed on the Executive to allocate greater resources to the National Department of Tourism (NDT) so that efforts could be directed to villages, townships and small dorpies. The tourism sector left to its own devices was not transforming. If there was no intervention, then the status quo would remain and villages would remain poverty stricken. Villages should become self-sustaining.
Inkosi Mahlangu thanked the Chairperson and the Committee for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the NHTL. He said that the language spoken in the meeting resonated with traditional leaders. There was a need to transform the economy to address challenges like poverty. The NHTL had come up with the concept of “Developmental Monarchs”. It was an outward looking concept. Issues raised by communities were prioritised by traditional leaders. On determining the number of villages, he stated that there were 829 traditional leaders and there were 7 399 headmen/headwomen. Each headman/headwomen was in charge of a village. So the estimated number of villages could be around 7 399. However, the number of villages was growing and efforts were being made to infuse new villages to the nearest headmen/headwomen. The NHTL did have the names of villages and could provide it to the Committee. The idea behind the concept of “Developmental Monarchs” was around transforming villages. The NHTL felt that there was a need to establish a private enterprise to take things forward. Traditional leaders were after all responsible for 25m people. There was a financial services sector within the private sector. Currently a tourism strategy was being developed. The intention was to use tourism as a catalyst in rural areas. There was a tourism and cultural precinct. He said that a pilot project had been started in his area. A great deal was happening. The idea was to replicate the model in other traditional councils. A goal was to create 500 000 jobs. Traditional leaders outside of government efforts were doing their own thing. He noted that when government was ready it could join in. The private entity intended to build its own schools, supermarkets, malls etc.
The Chairperson was impressed by the approach of the NHTL. The NDT would be working with the NHTL. He said that Committee Member, Ms L Makhubela-Mashele (ANC), would close the meeting.
Ms Makhubela-Mashele apologised for arriving late as she had attended another meeting in Parliament. On behalf of the Committee, she wished to thank all present for making an effort to attend the meeting. It was a sign of respect to the Committee. The meeting was the start of a meaningful conversation. Everyone had to pull together. In the provinces it had to be ensured that local tourism authorities had to start to function. Tourism should be a benefit to all. Tourism was low hanging fruit and was there for the taking. She pointed out that tourism had minimal barriers to entry. People should leverage on the opportunities in tourism. The Committee ensured that barriers to entry were minimal. Barriers to entry had been introduced by big cartels of business as well as by government. The Committee was impressing upon big business to have the tourism value chain reach into villages. There was a need to transform the sector. Communication was key. The LOTOFO was a one of a kind. Red tape had to be removed. She appreciated the work that traditional councils were doing in alleviating poverty in their areas. Economies of scale had to be created. Everyone needed to come on board towards a prosperous SA.
Minutes dated 26 November 2019 was adopted unamended.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.