The National Department of Tourism briefed the Committee on its 2ND Quarter Performance Report 2019/20. The overall performance for Quarter 2 sat at 67.11 % with fifty one out of seventy six targets having been achieved. A total of twenty five targets had not been achieved of which ten were close to completion and fifteen would not be achieved by end of financial year.
The briefing included a breakdown of Quarter 2 performances as per the NDT’s four Programmes ie Corporate Management – 55.6%, Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations – 84.6%, Destination Development – 65.2% and Tourism Sector Support Services – 64.5%.The Committee was also provided with insight into the financials for Quarter 2. As at 30 September 2019 the total expenditure of the NDT in relation to its budget sat at 62%.
The Committee was also briefed around NDT’s coordination across tourism stakeholders. Across the tourism value chain there were various role-players and it was important for the NDT to know who they were and to work closely with them. The success of the NDT’s efforts depended on cooperation from other departments like the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Services (SAPS).
Members were informed that significant progress had been made around tourist safety and that structures that were put in place were functioning and functioning well. There were also structures in place to ensure that projects were implemented for communities and Project Steering Committees (PSCs) allowed communities to take part in decisions being taken. The NDT was also in the process of developing the Tourism Master Plan. The Plan would speak to what needed to be done and where it needed to be done. It was a collective Plan that had all social partners on board. The NDT also made use of stakeholder formations that were out there. These included the Ministerial Leadership Forum that comprised of Ministers from across the African continent that engaged in informal discussions on issues. The NDT also worked with traditional leaders from all over SA. Specific mention was made of a forum that comprised of director generals from government departments whose work tied in with tourism ie Department of Home Affairs, the South African Police Services and the Department of Transport etc. The NDT emphasised the need for a stakeholder management portfolio in order to achieve what was intended. The role of local government was ever so important but local government was continuously plagued by capacity issues. It was important for local government to sustain engagements with industry at their own level. The NDT would only come in later to provide a supporting role on issues like capacity etc. Even though there was a whole host of structures in place, the key was engagement.
Members were concerned about the overall performance of the NDT for Quarter 2 2019/20. There were close to 33% of targets that had not been achieved. A further concern by members was that as the financial year progressed, targets that had not been achieved in earlier quarters of the financial year would fall behind. The NDT was asked whether there was a recovery plan in place for targets that had not been met. Members raised the issue of small tour operators in the Western Cape Province complaining that transport permits were only granted to big companies like Springbok Atlas and Hilton Ross. Members felt that opportunities should be extended to small tour operators as well. Members observed that the NDT in its briefing alluded to the fact that budgetary constraints perhaps contributed to them not meeting certain targets. Members urged the NDT to take into consideration its budgets when planning and in so doing to plan smartly. Members were pleased that the NDT had master plans in place but asked how the NDT decided on which areas to prioritise. Members also observed that there were instances throughout the briefing document where there was a lack of action or misalignment with government departments at both provincial and local level. It was a huge concern to members. On the various campaigns that the NDT had in relation to its Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy members asked how the success of campaigns was measured.
On the briefing relating to coordination across tourism stakeholders members observed that everything looked good on paper as there seemed to be different fora and committees in place. Members suggested to the NDT to use technology to reach out to role-players in the sector. Information had to be more automative.
The Chairperson asked the NDT when the Committee could expect to be briefed on its Quarter 3 2019/20 Performance Report. The Chairperson suggested that from tourism’s side there be a formal structure set up around the matter of the Coronavirus. SA had to from a medical point of view be able to anticipate the onset of viruses like the Coronavirus. Preparations should be made for possible risk. He suggested that the NDT discuss the matter with relevant government departments in order for there to be some sort of interdepartmental cooperation. Coordination amongst government departments especially at national level was needed in order for tourism to succeed. He continued that perhaps from a policy point of view there had to be a firm up of government coordination. Departments should not have a choice when it came to cooperation on tourism matters. In the context of intergovernmental relations it was something that needed to be attended to. A concrete policy was needed. The NDT was asked what the preliminary impact of the Coronavirus was. The Chairperson felt it important for the NDT to meet with the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Health and the Department of Public Enterprises as soon as possible. He concluded that it would seem as though the Coronavirus had affected the entire world.
Mr Victor Tharage, Director General, National Department of Tourism (NDT), tendered apologies for the Minister of Tourism, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Amos Mahlalela, for not being able to attend the meeting. He passed on a message from Minister Kubayi-Ngubane: a workshop type of meeting would be prepared in which the Committee could be briefed on the efforts and activities of the NDT. There would be a dedicated session where various issues would be discussed.
Briefing by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) on its 2nd Quarter Performance Report 2019/20
Mr Tharage kicked off the briefing with an overall performance overview for Quarter 2 of 2019/20. Overall performance sat at 67.11 % with 51 out of 76 targets having been achieved. A total of twenty five targets had not been achieved of which ten were close to completion and fifteen would not be achieved by end of financial year.
Programme 1: Corporate Management
Ms Lulama Duma, Deputy Director General: Corporate Management, NDT, stated that Quarter 2 performance sat at around 55.6% with five out of a total of nine targets having been achieved. Four targets had not been achieved. Annual and a Quarter 2 target was set for the vacancy rate not to exceed 10% of the funded establishment. This target was achieved with Quarter 2 performance sitting at 9.1%. An annual target and a Quarter 2 target was also set to maintain a minimum representation of people with disabilities at 3%. The Quarter 2 target was exceeded with the actual performance sitting at 4.4%.
Programme 2: Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations
Ms Aneme Malan, Deputy Director General: Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations, NDT, pointed out that Quarter 2 performance sat at around 84.6% with eleven out of a total of thirteen targets having been met. Two targets had not been met. An annual target was set to have a policy framework developed for SA Missions’ tourism promotion and facilitation support. The Quarter 2 target of having consultations commence on the draft policy framework for SA Missions’ tourism promotion and facilitation support had been achieved. However an annual and Quarter 2 target of having the 2017/18 State of Tourism Report (STR) published was not achieved. The STR had been finalised but was still awaiting approval for publishing.
Programme 3: Destination Development
Ms Shamilla Chettiar, Deputy Director General: Destination Development, NDT, said that 15 out of 23 targets had been met which meant that performance for Quarter 2 sat at around 65.2%. Eight targets had not been met for Quarter. On destination planning and investment coordination initiatives, annual targets were to have tourism master plans finalised for Port Nolloth to Hondeklipbaai, for Sutherland to Carnarvon, for Orange River Mouth to Vioolsdrift and for Port St Johns to Coffee Bay. Quarter 2 targets of having consultation sessions for each of the aforementioned tourism master plans had been achieved. There was also an annual target of having a budget resort network and brand concept developed and the Quarter 2 target was to have a framework for a budget resort network and brand completed. The Quarter 2 target was not achieved but an inception report had been finalised.
Programme 4: Tourism Sector Support Services
Ms Morongoe Ramphele, Deputy Director General: Tourism Sector Support Services, NDT, stated that performance sat at around 64.5% with 20 out of 31 targets having been met in this programme. The remaining eleven targets had not been met. On the number of awareness sessions hosted an annual target was set to have Local Government Peer Learning Network sessions for municipal practitioners conducted in four provinces. For Quarter 2, the target of having one Local Government Tourism Peer Learning Network session for municipal practitioners was met. On incentive programmes the annual target was to have a Market Access Support Programme (MASP). The Quarter 2 target of having applications and claims for the MASP approved had been achieved with thirty five applications having been approved.
Mr Ralph Ackermann, Chief Financial Officer, NDT, spoke to the financials for Quarter 2. As at 30 September 2019 the total expenditure of the NDT in relation to its budget sat at 62%. The budget of the NDT was around R2.39bn with expenditure at Quarter 2 sitting at around R1.48bn.
Briefing by the NDT on coordination across tourism stakeholders
Mr Tharage stated that the NDT was dependant on different mandates and also different role-players. NDT had a great deal of work to do around awareness on who the role-players in the tourism value chain were. The success of the NDT’s efforts depended on cooperation from other departments like Home Affairs and the South African Police Services (SAPS). The ultimate aim was to grow the contribution of the sector towards SA’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and also to contribute towards job creation. The tourism sector also had to be transformed with emphasis on responsible tourism. Along the entire tourism value chain it was important to keep in mind the importance of linkages between tourism and creative economies. It also had to be remembered that issues around support services and having access to tourist destinations often resided elsewhere other than the NDT.
The issue was around the intergovernmental relations framework. He explained that there were MinMECs (Ministers and Members of Executive Councils) in place. Since the appointment of Minister Kubayi-Ngubane there had so far been three meetings. The MinMECs were supported through the Ministerial Provincial Technical Committee (MIPTEC) for Tourism. There were various working groups which supported MinMECs. There were working groups that dealt with marketing and another that dealt with governance and development. These working groups fit into the MIPTECs. These structures were important for the rollout of the district development model. Many of the structures were duplicated in the provinces. The idea was to see structures fully functional across provinces and districts. The NDT, in 2019, had outlined its plans and strategies around crime and tourism. Significant progress had been made around tourist safety since the workshop that had been organised by the Chairperson in 2019. Consequently things had improved as structures were functioning and functioning well. For instance if protests were happening on a particular route alternative routes were suggested to ensure tourists were kept safe. Structures were also in place to ensure that projects were implemented for communities. There were Project Steering Committees (PSCs) that allowed communities to take part in decisions being taken. The NDT was also in the process of developing the Tourism Master Plan. The Plan would speak to what needed to be done and where it needed to be done. It was a collective Plan that had all social partners on board. NDT also made use of stakeholder formations that were out there. There was the Ministerial Leadership Forum that comprised of Ministers from across the African continent that engaged in informal discussions on issues. NDT also worked with traditional leaders from all over SA. There was also a forum for tourist guides that convened on a quarterly basis to keep abreast of happenings in provinces. There was even a tourism service excellence and complaints management forum in place. Specific mention was made of a forum that comprised of director generals from government departments whose work tied in with tourism ie Department of Home Affairs, the South African Police Services and the Department of Transport etc. He emphasised the need for a stakeholder management portfolio in order to achieve what was intended. Local government had a huge role to play in tourism but often was plagued by capacity issues. Local government had to sustain engagements with industry at their own level. The NDT would only come in later to provide a supporting role on issues like capacity etc. A local government conference was held every two years where best practises across municipalities were shared. Even though there was a whole host of structures in place, the key was engagement.
Ms M Gomba (ANC) was concerned about the overall performance of the NDT for Quarter 2 of 2019/20. Close to 33% of targets that had not been achieved. A further concern was that as the financial year progressed, targets that had not been achieved in earlier quarters would fall behind. On the database of black owned products and services (Slide 11) the Quarter 2 target of verifying and importing of data was not done due to delays in the procurement of uniforms to identify data collectors and on procurement of internet services. The corrective measure taken by the NDT had been to fast track the procurement of uniforms and internet services. She asked how the procurement was fast tracked. On the NDT’s annual target of having a digitisation framework developed for the tourism sector she hoped that things were being sped up in order for SA not to lag behind with the coming of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. On the Destination Development Programme she was concerned that for Quarter 2 that only fifteen of its twenty three targets had been met. What about the remaining eight targets that had not been achieved? Was there a recovery plan in place for those targets to be met? She also pointed out that at Shangoni Gate in the Limpopo Province problems had persisted for many years. When would issues at Shangoni Gate be resolved? She was concerned about the delay by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) in reviewing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of a Visitor Interpretation Centre (VIC) in the Baviaanskloof. She asked what the relationship between the NDT and the DEFF was. Speaking to the training of tour guides she pointed out that there were many tour guides in the Western Cape Province that were also drivers involved in the transport of tourists. These tour guides however complained that in the Western Cape Province permits were only given to big companies of the likes of Springbok Atlas and Hilton Ross. Tour operators that had been trained should be given opportunities as well. Permits should be granted to drivers to transport tourists. She noted that the figure of 46% of women within the NDT at Senior Management Service (SMS) level was a step in the right direction and she hoped the figure to keep increasing. She added that it seemed as if budgetary constraints were partly to blame for the NDT not meeting its targets. She felt that the NDT needed to consider its budget when planning. The NDT needed to plan smartly.
Ms Malan stated that data collectors had to wear a specific uniform. The NDT had battled to obtain the proper quality for the uniform in question from suppliers. Electronic devices were used to capture data. NDT had tested the information technology platform that had been procured. The testing had taken a great deal of time. She agreed that on digitisation efforts could be intensified.
Ms Chettiar conceded that at Shangoni Gate the NDT had been frustrated by delays. Several meetings had taken place even at Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) level. There was a specific target for the appointment of a contractor. She explained that on Friday 31 January 2020 the NDT had been informed that a contractor would be appointed by March 2020. The NDT presently realised that it was not possible for this to happen as it normally took three months from the date of placing an advertisement to make an appointment. In all likelihood the appointment of the contractor would take place by June 2020 if all goes well. The NDT intended to escalate the matter. The NDT had a good working relationship with the DEFF. The delay relating to the EIA was not on the part of the DEFF. There were instances when queries emanating from consultation processes took long to resolve and these caused the delays. The queries would be finalised.
Ms Ramphele, on the tour guide matter, explained that there was an incubator in place for operators. Tour guide operators were being supported. The issue was about tour guide operators becoming sustainable. There was partnering between small operators and bigger companies. However a great deal of education was needed for small operators on being professional as in one instance a big company had provided a small operator with an opportunity to transport fifty German tourists. The small operator simply did not pitch to pick up the tourists. On the issue of permits the NDT was discussing the matter with the Department of Transport about speeding up processes. On targets that were not achieved she stated that recovery plans were in place. She agreed that corrective measures should be in place. Most of the unachieved targets would be achieved by financial year end.
Ms Duma, on the number of women in SMS positions, appointed by the NDT said that in all likelihood the annual target would not be met. She said that the NDT wished to attract the best candidates for positions.
She did add that when Minister Kubayi-Ngubane came into office most of her staff was male and hence this too affected representation at SMS level.
Ms Duma explained that budgetary constraints also affected appointments. NDT’s internal audit report should have been issued at the end of July 2019 but was only done at the end of September 2019. Hence the NDT’s Annual Report could not be done without the internal audit report. The target was nevertheless achieved in Quarter 3 2019/20.
Mr Tharage clarified that at no point did the NDT’s management advise the Minister that her appointments would affect representation at SMS level. The internal audit was done in-house by the NDT. The internal audit team was small and often had to assist with other matters. On information technology audits, the NDT would seemingly have recurring challenges. It was difficult for the NDT to retain capacity. He pointed out that permits were a problem and it was being discussed. Complaints around permits were received from both big and small operators. It was something that needed greater attention. He added that automation issues had been attended to.
Mr M de Freitas (DA) was pleased that the NDT had master plans in place. How did the NDT decide on which areas to prioritise? What were the deciding factors? He asked what the impediments were to have niche tourism facilitation sessions developed (Slide 18). He asked for explanations on the storylines for interpretive signage at Kruger National Park, Golden Gate Highlands National Park and at Kgalagadi World Heritage Site. He observed on that on Slides 21 and 33, in addition to the rest of the briefing document, there seemed to be a lack of action by or misalignment with other government departments at both provincial and local level. If it were true this was a huge problem. He referred to delays in the approval of service providers to complete work which ultimately affected targets being met (Slide 25). Were there not service contracts in place? If there were there surely had to be penalty clauses in contracts when there was non-completion. What types of penalties were in place? On various campaigns that were launched in support of the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy he asked how the success of campaigns was measured (Slide 35). On the orientation of tourist guide learners in mandarin he asked after orientation whether they did a full course. What was the duration of the mandarin course? On the briefing relating to coordination across tourism stakeholders he remarked that on paper everything looked good as there were different forums and committees etc in place. He suggested that technology be used to reach out to all role-players in the sector. Information had to be more automotive.
Ms Chettiar explained that master plans came from work done on coastal and marine habitats. The NDT prioritised important areas like heritage sites and national attractions. The areas prioritised had high potential yet the investment in them was low. Master plans could take anything from five to twenty years to implement. There were many aspects to consider. Infrastructure, access, marketing and route development were just a few issues that had to be considered. She added that where an area was prioritised a geospatial plan was needed. Questions were asked as to where investment would be made and where the funds would come from. On niche tourism development, the challenges did not relate to a service provider but rather the NDT’s own procurement system. The challenges had however been resolved. She clarified that when it came to destination development the NDT was not the custodian of tourism related properties. The NDT simply worked with project owners. Project owners experienced difficulties on implementation. There were also challenges on procurement. She reiterated that the NDT was not the owner/custodian of tourism assets. Collaboration was key.
Ms Ramphele, on the mandarin training project, said that there were 20 students participating. The students’ graduations would take place on 12 and 13 March 2020. The project had two phases. The first was language training and the second was immersion. However given the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus she was not sure whether immersion would take place. The Chinese Embassy was involved in the mandarin training. On whether the NDT measured the success of its campaigns she explained that the focus was more about having a geographic spread of activities across provinces especially in less visited areas. The measuring of success would come later.
The Chairperson asked when the Committee could expect to be briefed on the NDT’s 3rd Quarter Performance Report 2019/20. He added that by the time that the Committee dealt with the 3rd Quarter Performance Report it would have dealt with the totality of issues.
Mr Tharage responded that there were preliminary figures for Quarter 3 performance.
Ms Duma stated that by the end of February 2020 there should be final figures.
Mr Tharage said that the Committee could be briefed in March 2020 on Quarter 3 2019/20 performance.
The Chairperson suggested that from tourism’s side there be a formal structure set up around the matter of the Coronavirus. SA had to, from a medical point of view, be able to anticipate the onset of viruses like this. Preparations should be made for possible risk. He asked the NDT to discuss the matter with its counterparts in government so that there could be some sort of interdepartmental cooperation. He agreed that coordination amongst government departments especially at national level was needed in order for tourism to succeed. There was perhaps a need from a policy point of view to firm up government coordination. Departments should not have a choice when it came to cooperating on tourism matters. He stressed that it was difficult to do oversight on informal arrangements between departments. In the context of intergovernmental relations it was something that needed to be attended to. A concrete policy was needed.
The Chairperson asked what the preliminary impact of the Coronavirus on was on tourism. He felt that the NDT should meet with the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Health and the Department of Public Enterprises as soon as possible.
Mr Tharage responded that SA should always be ready for anything. The tourism environment was fluid. For now the NDT had done a quick roll call with different agencies particularly with South African youth that were undergoing tourist guiding training in China. Eighteen of the youth was back safely in SA whilst nineteen were still in China but were also safe. None of the nineteen youth had been quarantined. The NDT had observed that a number of countries had placed a ban of Chinese visits but had not said so outright. In 2019 South Korea had between 9.3m and 9.6m Chinese tourists. At present there was an 80% decline. Intra - China visits had also declined. He said that when a person arrived at a casino in Macau everyone was wearing masks over their mouths and noses. There was an 80% to 90% decline as well. The death toll from the Coronavirus was to date 423. He said that it would seem as though there was little control over viruses. The world was in trouble as the Chinese tourist spent a great deal of money. When China’s GDP was hard hit then the whole world was affected. Besides tourism, trade too was also affected. He said that group travel had been put on hold. Chinese people did not feel safe to travel abroad. People might assume that all Chinese were infected with the Coronavirus. People were wary of Chinese tourists. He stated that the Department of Health had given indications of readiness. There was a 14-day quarantine for people from affected areas. Tourism was a very sensitive sector. The NDT would therefore have to intensify efforts in the Africa market. Africa-Air in-bound figures sat around 6%-7% and it was not where the NDT wished for it to be. He reiterated that efforts in Africa would have to be intensified and the Committee would be provided with a briefing in this regard.
The Chairperson said that it would seem as though the Coronavirus had affected the entire world.
The Committee agreed to schedule its next meeting after the 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
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.