Annual Report; Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut


17 November 1999
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


17 November 1999



Documents Distributed

  • Annual Report- Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Appendix 1)
  • Memorandum on a Tourism Vision for South Africa: Presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Appendix 2)


The committee reviewed their annual report (see Appendix 1). The chairperson, Ms Mahlangu (ANC) asked the Members if they had anything to add to the report. One Member asked to have the trip to Mannenberg after it was hit by the tornado listed. Ms Van de Merwe reminded the chair that they met with a group of Australian parliamentarians. The committee endorsed the report with the proposed changes.

The chairperson told the committee that they would not be having the briefing on CITES because the presenter cancelled the day before.

Mr Johann De Bruyn gave his presentation on AHI. He told the committee that he was only giving them suggestions on the state of the industry. Mr De Bruyn told the committee that they want to be proactive and work with the committee.

A colleague of Mr Bruyn, Ms Le Roux gave a short presentation on some of the problems for tour operators. Ms Le Roux is a tour operator who specialises in senior citizens tours. She told the committee that there is an emphasis on making regulations and standards for tour guides but there is no protection being offered for tour operators. She gave the example of tour operators who do not pay their bills at hotels. This causes the hotels to raise their rates and therefore harms the tourism industry. She suggested creating a "black list" which she explained as a list of tour operators who have not paid their bills. This gets circulated to all hotels so they know not to deal with that particular tour operator. Ms Le Roux also suggested having registration numbers for tour operators. In addition, she suggested setting up a hotline so that tourists can call to lodge complaints or find out if the tour operator has a good reputation. Ms Le Roux told the committee that these changes would not only protect tour operators they would also protect the public.

Questions and answers:

Mr Moorcroft (DP) told Mr De Bruyn that he thought that the main culprits to damaging South Africa's roads are big truck drivers who overload their trucks. He asked if the AHI is trying to regulate this abuse by persuading the members in their commerce not to do this or are they waiting for the State to intervene. Mr De Bruyn assured the Member that they have told their business partners that if they are found overloading their trucks, AHI will be very unsympathetic. If this happens they will go to the government and ask them to increase the fines.

Another member asked to address the presentation on tour operators. He asked whether there were other problems facing the tour operators that were not mentioned. The member felt that there are tour operators who need financial assistance as opposed to tour operators who do not pay simply because they are dishonest.

One member was concerned with AHI's partnership with NAFCOC; they did not feel that this was going to help empower black people. The member thought that the tourism police is a good idea but he wanted clarification on how it would work. Mr De Bruyn told the committee that AHI and NAFCOC have identified the problems and they are working towards solutions. The have identified important projects like empowering individuals in their small businesses.

Ms Olkers (NNP) asked about provincial levies. She pointed out that AHI thinks that levies are detrimental but Ms Olkers is doubtful. She thinks that each province has different ideas and attitudes toward levies. She did not believe that this could be a unanimous decision in AHI. Mr De Bruyn told the committee that AHI would be satisfied if the provinces could come up with an alternative to the levies.

Ms Ramotsamai (ANC) told Mr De Bruyn that she liked the idea of a tourist watch which was linked to car watch. She was concerned that tourist watch would end up being like car watch in that it exploits black workers. She said that employees of car watch often do not make any money because they have to pay their superiors a big amount of money at the end of the day. Ms Ramotsamai hoped that tourist watch would be created in a way to empower the workers. Mr De Bruyn agreed with Ms Ramotsamai and he added that this is what AHI hopes to achieve, job creation and empowerment.

Mr September (ANC) told Mr De Bruyn that traditionally AHI has had a very narrow approach to problems in South Africa. He hoped that they did not team up with NAFCOC just to score from them. Mr September added that AHI is only talking about international tourism, they do not refer to local tourism. He believes that if the tourist industry is going to be dependent solely on international tourists then it is not going to survive. Mr September agreed that the culprit to the road problems was the big trucks but he added that South Africa needs to look into renewing and improving their rail system. He noted that there are many "back packers" in South Africa who want to see the country but cannot afford the airfare. In addition, there is not adequate transportation for disabled people. The only type of transportation they have access to is air transportation which is often too expensive. Finally, Mr September asked Ms Le Roux not to use the term "black list" because he felt that it is a racist term and that another term should be used.

Mr De Bruyn responded to Mr September's comments by saying that NAFCOC and AHI have very good working relations. He noted that AHI is moving away from white dominance, they have black members and they are making an effort to be more inclusive. Mr De Bruyn agreed that the rail system needed to be improved and he would encourage any action to improve it. He said that AHI encourages international tourists because South Africa needs their money to improve tourism.

The chairperson added some comments. She said that if a country does not develop its tourism culture it cannot bring in money. She said that they need to develop locally first and change the mind set of local people. She said that poor people around Kruger Park, where her family is from, do not see that the tourists can help to benefit their economy. South Africa first needs to develop a culture that treats tourists well and a culture that understands that by treating tourists well, money will be put into the economy.

The time for the meeting expired so Mr De Bruyn and Ms Le Roux did not have time to address all of the questions. The committee agreed to hear from the two presenters again. In addition, they decided to make notices for public hearings on tourism in the new year. They agreed to put the notices in as many papers as possible.

These Minutes have been supplied by Contact.

Appendix 1:



A summary of the Portfolio Committee's activities - August to November 1999.


The Committee held twenty two (22) meetings in the period from 19 August to 17 November 1999.

19 August 99: Election of Chairperson

24 August 99: Meeting with Swedish Parliamentarians (Environmental Management Policy)

25 August 99: Consideration of Programme Briefing on Sustainable Energy, Environment and Development (SEED)

30 August 99: Briefing on Climate Change and Convention on Biodiversity

31 August 99: Meeting with Danish Parliamentarians (Climate Change and Biodiversity)

01 September 99: Deliberations on World Heritage Convention Bill [B 42 99]

07 September 99: Discussion [B 42 - 99]

08 September 99: Briefing on Asbestos Pollution

10 September 99: Discussion [B 42 - 99]

14 September 99: Discussion [B 42 - 99]

15 September 99: Briefing and Adoption of Report on Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Discussion on [B 42 - 99]

17 September 99: Discussion [B 42 - 99]

20 September 99: Discussion [B 42 - 99]

12 October 99: Meeting with German Parliamentarians (Tourism in South Africa and Germany)

19 October 99: Briefing - Implementation of Marine Living Resources Act

20 October 99: Briefing - Implementation on of Marine Living resources Act

25 October 99: Workshop - Waste Management

26 October 99: Environmental Forum

27 October 99: Briefing - Implementation of Marine Living Resources Act

09 November 99: Tourism Amendment Bill [B 50 - 99]

10 November 99: Tourism Amendment Bill [B 50 - 99]; World Heritage Convention Bill [B 42 D-99]

17 November 99: Briefing by Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI Tourism programme)


(a) The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as adjusted and amended by the Fourth Meeting of the Parties (Copenhagen, 23 - 25 November 1992).

The Committee requested for approval of the Protocol by Parliament, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution.

(b) The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Botswana on the Recognition of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The Committee requested for approval of the Convention by Parliament, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution.


(a) China (Beijing) 29 November to 03 December 1999

The purpose of the visit is to attend the 11th Conference of Parties to the

Montreal Protocol. South Africa acceded to the Protocol on 1 5 January 1990.

The Protocol is aimed at ensuring measures to protect the Ozone Layer.

A report will be compiled by the delegation.

(b) Switzerland (Basel) OG to 10 December 1999

The purpose of the visit is to attend the Conference of Parties to the Basel

Convention. South Africa ratified the Convention in May 1 999. The

Convention deals with the control of transboundary movements of hazardous


A report will be compiled by the delegation.


(a) World Heritage Convention Bill [B42 - 99]

The Bill seeks to provide for the incorporation of the World Heritage Convention into South African law; the enforcement and implementation of the World Heritage Convention in South Africa; the recognition and establishment of World Heritage Sites; the establishment of Authorities and the granting of additional powers to existing organs of State; the powers, functions and duties of such Authorities especially those safeguarding the integrity of World Heritage Sites; the establishment of Advisory Boards and Executive Staff Components of the Authorities; integrated management plans over World Heritage Sites; land matters n relation to World Heritage Sites; and financial, auditing and reporting controls over Authorities; and to provide for incidental matters.

Adopted with amendments.

(b) Tourism Amendment Bill [B 50 - 99]

The Bill seeks to amend the Tourism Act 1 993, 50 as to insert certain definitions; to further provide for the training and registration of tourist guides; to make provision for a code of conduct for tourist guides; to regulate the procedure for lodging complaints; to make provision for the endorsement of certain registers in appropriate cases; to provide for disciplinary measures, appeals and reviews; to criminalise certain conduct; and to make provision for a duty to provide information; and to provide for transitional matters; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Bill has been deferred to the next Parliamentary session (2000).

Compiled by:

Ms G L Mahlangu, Chairperson: PC on Environmental Affairs and Tourism

Tel. 403 2662

Appendix 2


  • Objective - A major objective, amongst others, is to promote community development.
  • Membership - Corporate

ABSA, Barlows Ltd, BP SA Ltd, Genbel securities Ltd,

Iscor Ltd, KWV, Nasionale Pers Ltd, Nedcor Bank Ltd, Old

Mutual, FirstRand, Rembrandt Group Ltd, Sanlam, Sasol

Ltd, Standard Bank SA Ltd, Transnet Ltd and Vodacom

Group (Pty) Ltd.

  • Membership - Sakekamers (Business Chambers) 150

Sakemakers spread across South Africa are affiliated to the


  • AHI co-operation with other business organizations.
  • The AHI and NAFCOC have entered into a partnership agreement which is being co-ordinated by a Section 21 company, the South African Business Forum (SABF). The AHI is also a founding member of Business South Africa (BSA).


1. State of the Tourism Industry: October and November 1999

1.1. Introduction

The AHI applauds and supports the new tourism action plan that was announced by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on Thursday 16 September 1999.

The concept of partnership between government and the private sector tourism industry is strongly supported and we trust that the goals envisaged by this partnership will create the necessary jobs and wealth for the country. In a statement made by the previous Minister it was noted that South Africa now ranks 25th on the WTO listing of the worlds 40 top holiday destinations. It was also noted that a total of 5 981 000 tourists visited the RSA in 1998 which amounted to an increase of 10% on the 1997 figures. It was also encouraging to note that 1998 statistics indicated that tourism contributed R53, 2 billion (8,2%) towards the total GDP and represent 737 600 jobs, i.e. 7% of the total employment

It is confidentially estimated that the RSA will, as a result of the tourism action plan, receive nearly 8,5 million visitors by the year 2002. This should result in a total of more than one million jobs.

Although these statistics indicate a positive trend in the growth pattern of the industry, there are however negative aspects which can be detrimental to the growth of the industry and urgently needs the combined attention of all parties concerned i.e. Government, Labour, Business and the community.

2. Safety and security of tourists

Of all the priorities identified within the industry, the safety and security of both foreign and local tourists is the most important issue that needs to be addressed urgently. If South Africa wishes to upgrade its listing as a holiday destination, this issue must be solved immediately. Attacks, muggings and violence against tourists are the one method to destroy the industry and the crucial jobs it must create for South Africans, now and in the future. It is suggested that:-

  1. A well trained and easily identified police corps be established within a framework of the SAPS.
  2. Such a corps should be mobile with regular foot patrols at popular tourism

destinations and attractions.

  1. The AHI is aware of the fact that law enforcement is currently seriously defect due to financial constraints and scarce trained human resources. However, the creation of a "Tourist Watch", organized along the same lines as that of "Car Watch", may offer a solution in the short term. This may result in large numbers of unemployed, unskilled or semi-skilled people to stake a claim in the industry and could expedite the process of creating a tourism culture especially in rural communities. It could also alleviate the burden of the SAPS in general.

2.4. The legal and penal system of South Africa needs to be revised and restructured urgently in order to deal with criminals on a cost efficient and swift way. It should be noted that the impact of the present system on tourists is particularly frustrating.

3. Tourism marketing

The present system of marketing South Africa abroad needs to be addressed and an economically viable marketing policy is needed for the whole of South Africa and not in particular for the provinces. The marketing of provinces however, should not be neglected and a suitable formula must be developed to ensure that the country is marketed through an accredited body which is supported by both Government and the Industry. We are aware of the joint efforts that are currently being investigated in this regard. However, the question remains whether a relatively small country like South Africa needs both a parastatal and private body to market its tourist attractions abroad. We would suggest the establishment of a single body, focused on international marketing, representing business and government on a 50:50 basis in terms of shareholding and capital. South Africa today faces extreme competition as a far flung tourist destination from countries like Australia, New Zealand and Argentine and only a joint effort to utilize scarce financial resources economically, could help to reposition us in a extreme competitive global society.


4. Funding and SMME Development

It has been emphasized over many years that tourism, being a service industry, has the capacity to create jobs on a very large scale, The statement of the previous Minister again proved this. However, small tourism and travel operators still find it very difficult to access finance, despite efforts and financial incentives from established organizations and institutions. The AHI has in the past lobbied for the establishment of a suitable incentive scheme to finance tourism development. In order to achieve the broad tourism objectives, it is essential that "operators" in all the different supporting segments should be able to sustain business growth and suitable capital investment in the medium and long term.

In the Moving South Africa research project of the Department of Transport, the medium term Sustainability of the Coach Transport Industry was seriously questioned.

This prediction is already true in that cutthroat competition, price-cutting and very low profit margins have resulted in little or no replacement of vehicles, takeovers and a potential threat to adequate service and safety levels. It is therefore suggested that Government consider economically viable incentives for small and medium operators in the industry that will contribute to their survival in a very competitive environment

It must be emphasized that the safety of both commuters and tourists travelling by bus is of prime importance in view of the very serious accidents that the said industry experienced in the previous months. The AHI therefore recommends that Government as a matter of priority, investigates and researches the request as set out in the preceding paragraph.


5. Training and Education

Although the AHI is satisfied that the existing training boards for certain sectors in the industry like the HITB and TETASA are well established, we are also aware of the fact that many alumni from tertiary institutions are finding it very difficult to find suitable work in the industry. Entrepreneurial development is of utmost importance and a joint effort should be made to encourage entrepreneurial development in areas like eco-tourism, the training of field and professional tour guides as well as tour operators. There is however an urgent need to clarify the trainers of all operators, tour guides and suppliers of different services to the industry to obtain equal standards. Grading as such is not in place yet and leads to criticism of the industry and malpractice. The entrepreneurial skills of all South Africans wishing to enter this industry, must be developed.


6. The Establishment of a Tourism Culture in South Africa

A tourism culture in South Africa can only be established when local communities experience the benefit of tourism. The establishment of a tourism culture through the "Tourism in Gear" and UBUNTU programmes is applaudable but should also include the creation of a service culture in dealing with foreign and local tourists. Communities, especially in rural areas and business in general, should continuously be encouraged to participate in these promotion campaigns.

7. Provincial Levies

Although it is agreed that the tourism promotion and development function has been delegated to the provinces, the AHI nevertheless strongly oppose the tendency in the provinces to incur more levies on the industry. There is an agreement between Government and industry whereby levies raised, be dedicated towards the international marketing of South Africa. Provincial levies will be detrimental to the industry and it is doubtful whether such levies would be dedicated to marketing. Any actions of provinces in this regard should be prohibited.

8. Road infrastructure and users

Although not seen by many as a real problem, bus and coach operators experience the gradual deterioration of national and provincial roads.

In this area, mainly three problems exist. (I) Potholes. They contribute to consequential damage to tyres and suspensions. These damages can materialize vast distances from the point of impact and may lead to serious accidents i.e. a burst tire. (ii) Height difference between the road reserve and tarmac. When going off the road to avoid an accident or for any other reason, it causes damage to the sides of the tyres. The result also impacts at a later stage. (iii) Fencing of roads. Stray animals are a major cause of accidents.

Unroadworthy vehicles and unlicensed drivers are conspicuous on the roads. Although small passenger vehicles do not pose a real threat to buses and coaches when involved in an accident, the place of occurrence can lead to a major disaster. Three-ton vehicles are the major culprits and a collision with one of them is catastrophic.

Due to the fact that 90% of all tourists travel by car, combi or midi bus; greatly increases the risk of being involved in an accident

9. International Investment

The AHI strongly supports international investment in feasible tourism development projects under certain conditions. Joint ventures with local business partners must be encouraged and the South African missions abroad must endeavor to lure foreign investors to consider investment in tourism projects in South Africa. We have learnt that at present an oversupply of bedrooms exists within the hotel and accommodation sectors. We however believe that should the industry grow as predicted by the Minister, the current oversupply may be eliminated and a shortage will result within a period of 2-3 years This may impact negatively on the industry due to the fact that international bookings and flights will have to be concealed. We therefore recommend that investment in tourism infrastructure be prioritized by Investment South Africa (ISA) and other Government and parastatal bodies. Advanced planning in this regard is essential in order to meet the broad tourism objectives envisaged


10. Conclusion

In conclusion, this memorandum serves to inform you, not only of the problems that still faces the industry today, but the numerous opportunities that exists and need to be developed. The AHI believes that the tourism potential of South Africa must be unlocked and effectively managed to the benefit of its entire people. In order to achieve this goal, all parties must co-operate on an equal basis.






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