Department of Tourism (DT) Annual Performance Plan and Budget 2022/23; with Deputy Minister

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Meeting Summary

The Select Committee convened virtually to receive a briefing on the Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2022/23 of the Department of Tourism (DT). The Department detailed its programmes and budgets allocated for each of the programmes.

Questions posed by the Committee related to the Transformation Equity Fund’s (TEF) court hearing -the Committee wanted clarity on this matter. On the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) floods, the Committee wanted to know if the Department had any programmes to mitigate this disaster. Members asked if the tourism initiatives that the Department undertook were damaged during the floods that happened in KZN. Members questioned the state of roads in South Africa and the airline ticket prices. Members asked whether or not the Department would integrate into programmes with other departments to develop solutions to problems within the Department of Tourism since negligence in other departments affects the Tourism Department and its programmes’ success.

Members asked if the Department had any programmes to assist the development of women, youth and people with disabilities in the tourism sector. Other questions related to the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP). Members wanted more information on the Provincial Progress Reports, as some municipalities were missing.

 Members wanted clarification from the Department on the polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR tests) and whether or not they will still be necessary for tourists travelling from abroad to South Africa. They were concerned that this could hinder people from visiting South Africa. The Chairperson and Members all expressed their concern about the Tourism Sector, and they said that it is a key pillar of economic development in South Africa. The Committee asked if the Department engaged in multi- and bilaterals - this was important for tourism in Africa and abroad.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks

The Chairperson greeted the Deputy Minister, the Department of Tourism (DT), the Committee Members and Committee staff. He called out the names of the Members of the Committee who were all present in the meeting. There were two apologies: Ms B Mathevula (EFF, Limpopo) and Mr E Landsman (ANC, North West). He mentioned that he did not receive an apology from Ms M Mamaregane (ANC, Limpopo). However, he was aware that she was attending a Finance Committee meeting.

He handed over to the Deputy Minister to note any apologies from the Department's side. After that, he would hand it over to the Department to take the Committee through their Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2022/23.

Mr Amos Fish Mahlalela, Deputy Minister of Tourism, thanked the Chairperson. He took the opportunity to extend their greeting to the Members of the Select Committee and the NCOP. He extended his sincerest apologies for the incident yesterday (at the Africa Travels Indaba). He said it was a mishap of recognition that happened, and the Programme Director and the Minister did not consider it. The Minister was not aware that the Members of the Select Committee were a part of the opening ceremony yesterday. He said that she was not informed, even he was not aware of the matter. As a result, the Minister was unable to acknowledge the Members of the Select Committee.

Department of Tourism Annual Performance Plan and Budget 2022/2023

Deputy Minister Mahlalela introduced the Department to the Committee. He asked Mr Victor Tharage, Director-General (DG), to lead the presentation.


The Department presented its performance targets per programme along with the allocated budget.

Programme 1: Administration

Ms Rhulani Ngwenya, DDG: Corporate Management, DT, discussed what the key deliverables of the programme were, some being:

  • To achieve a vacancy rate of less than 10%.
  • To work on the representation of women, youth and people with disabilities in the tourism sector
  • .
  • To pay 100% of all complaint invoices within 30 days.

Programme Two: Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations


Ms Aneme Malan, DDG: Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations, DT, said the programme aims to enhance the strategic policy environment, monitor the tourism sector's performance and enable stakeholder relations. Some of the key deliverables were:


  • To develop Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) Implementation Reports;
  • To advance South Africa's tourism interests at regional, continental and global levels through participation in six multilateral fora UNWTO, G20, BRICS, SADC, IORA and AU;
  • To develop a report on the state and availability of key tourism statistics and resources at provincial level.

Programme Three: Destination Development

Ms Shamilla Chettiar,  DDG: Destination Development, DT, discussed the programme's key deliverables as being:

  • Implementation of 30 community-based tourism projects;
  • Finalisation of prioritised tourism concepts and initiatives to support DDM One Plans for:  OR Tambo District, eThekwini Metro, Pixley Ka Seme District and Namakwa Districts.

Programme Four: Tourism Sector Support Services.

The programme aims to enhance transformation, increase skill levels and support the development of the sector to ensure that South Africa is a competitive tourism destination.

Ms Mmaditonki Setwaba, DDG: Tourism Sector Support Services, DT, said that the Department wanted to introduce Green Tourism Incentive Programme; a Tourism Monitors Programme in all Provinces; Incubation Programmes and Domestic Tourism Awareness Campaigns, among others.

Mr Mohith Maharaj, Acting CFO, DT, also briefly took the Committee through the DT’s budget for 2022/23.

[See attached document for all details.]



Mr K Mmoiemang (ANC, Northern Cape) asked a question relating to the cost order and transformation matters. As far as he knows, the progress on the Tourism Equity Fund’s (TEF) implementation was held back by a court order. As a result of this, a number of programmes targeting transformation have been put on hold. He asked the Department what the progress was on that.

On the progress of the recovery programmes regarding COVID-19, he said that the pandemic severely hit the sector, and he asked the Department what their status was on this. He asked if there were any targeted programmes in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).

He asked the Department whether there were any targeted programmes around mitigating the impact of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) floods. He asked if severity of the flood’s cost was quantified and whether or not it has been reflected in the current budget.

On support for the provincial tourism board, he asked for clarity on tourism recovery across the nine provinces.

Ms H Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga) started with a comment on the Deputy Minister's comment on tourism recovery. She said that the road and transport industry is having various problems that they will need to address urgently, as this negatively affects the tourism industry. The state of South Africa’s roads has a huge impact on SMMEs. She believes that they will be able to engage with roads and transport regarding the conditions of the secondary roads. What plan of action can the Department come up with on that?

She asked whether the Department could provide the Committee with information on a timeframe for integrating databases of all tourist guides and databases of all nine provinces. She asked the Department what the budget would be for this process and how the Department would obtain all the data from the various provinces. 

She asked if any of the tourism initiatives that the Department undertook were damaged during the floods that happened recently in KZN. If so, which initiatives were damaged, and what assistance has been given to them?

She pointed out that everyone has been aware that the TEF has undergone a court hearing, and she asked where the Department stood on that matter.

She said that the Department of Tourism industry is one of the biggest contributors to the GDP. The DT and its stakeholders’ responsibility is to engage in agreements with other like-minded stakeholders to obtain and share resources to develop the tourism industry further. It is clear that the majority of the DT’s budget has to be aligned to enter into further agreements with these like-minded stakeholders.

She congratulated the Department on ensuring that 100% of all compliant invoices would be paid out within 30 days because many other SMMEs have complained in other Committees that they have not been paid on time.

She asked about women in the tourism business and their support. Twenty-five businesses in each province will be identified. She asked whether or not the Department would concentrate more on the metro regions than rural regions. She highlighted that rural areas in South Africa have so much to offer. Having been at the Indaba, they noticed South Africans have to be put out there for their stories to be heard. Every area has a cultural history, and this needs to be exploited. She asked if these women were going to be from rural areas.

On the training and placement of the 2 500 retrenched and unemployed youth, she asked the Department if any discussions had taken place with the employers about possibly employing the trainees.

On the available vacant posts, she asked if these would be filled with the extra R30 million given to the DT. She asked the Department where this was taken from the previous budget.

Now that the Disaster Management Act has ended, she asked if they will still insist on the PCR tests from travellers who enter South Africa abroad. She observed from other discussions and press outlets that the PCR tests are discouraging to tourists, hindering them from travelling. The Tourism Business Council of SA (TBC SA) also stated that they found it rather challenging.

She had a question about the National Transport Regulator on the matter of issuing licences. She said that some applicants have licenses that have been outstanding since 2019. She asked the Department for clarity on this as some licenses took 12 months to be issued rather than 60 days. This is putting a huge burden on the operators, closing down. In turn, this is affecting the unemployment rate.

She said she had received many complaints about the airline ticket prices, and she asked the Department if any interaction has taken place with the Department of Transport on this issue, as a large portion of the money goes to government taxes.

Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) said when people are travelling from abroad from, for example, Europe to Qatar, they are obliged to a PCR test. If they do not have a valid PCR test, they are obliged to stay in isolation for a few days until they can get a PCR test done. He asked the Department if they had negotiated whether or not the PCR tests could be simplified from the point of entry to the point of arrival.

On the 25-30-year plan, he asked if the Department anticipated any changes in the 25-30-year plan and how it planned on accommodating these changes.

Lastly, he asked if the Department planned on targeting other particular new areas for tourism.  

Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Free State) commended the state of the roads in South Africa, although the state of the roads is bad in certain parts of the country. She notified the Deputy Minister that they had already raised this issue to the Committee on Transport, as she is a Member of that Committee and to her colleague from the Free State in the National Assembly. They are not just going to raise this issue but they are also going to ensure that they provide oversight of the state of the roads in the province.

She asked when the Department planned to fill the CFO position. Has the vacancy been advertised? She asked what the reason was why the previous CFO left the DT.

On the 100% payment of all compliant invoices within 30 days, she wanted to commend the Department on this.

The Chairperson said that some of the issues that the Members have raised relate to the cooperation of other departments that negatively impact the DT. He said that they always hope that these issues will be raised in Cabinet to be resolved. Some are continuing issues, such as the issue of the tour operators' licences and other issues that relate to other Departments. The Department of Home Affairs has resolved the issue of the E-visa. He highlighted the Committee just met with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) on their Annual Performance Plans and Budgets. The Department observed institutions had 'red-tape reduction' issues in each programme. Some of these issues are also from other departments outside of the DTIC. He suggested that the DT also use this method of identifying /red-tape reduction' issues outside the Department’s control. He mentioned that the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan also relies on the cooperation of other Departments for their success.

He appreciated the targets and the indicators of programme one. He said that he appreciated the target percentage of women in the programme but noticed that the programme was silent on the youth and people with disability. He asked the Department for clarity on that.

On the less than 10% vacancy target, he asked the Department to indicate which posts in that 10% are critically vacant posts funded and have not been filled.

On the TSRP, he asked if there was any new money available for implementing the TSRP. He said he was aware that the programme would develop implementation programmes. He asked if there were resources available for the implementation of the programmes. He said that there has also been talk of the launch of the investment and resource mobilisation programme to support resource supply. It also talks of the two investment promotion platforms. He looked for this in the programme, if it mentioned anything about the launch, but he could not find anything in any of the programmes in the presentation, except for the issue that talked about the facilitation of two investment promotion platforms.

He noted that a slide talked about the stimulation of domestic demand. He asked if the Department could provide the Committee with more detail on these initiatives and the campaigns that will be involved. 

Under Programme Two, he noticed that the Department would be participating in multilateral fora, and he asked if there were any bilateral fora that the Department would be engaging in.

On the TEF, he said that he would appreciate it if the Department gave the Committee an update on the matter. He wanted clarity on two issues regarding it. He asked the Department what would happen to the fund, as a fund was allocated to a particular period. Will be fund be re-prioritised to other programmes? As the fund has to do with transformation, will the Department not consider taking this matter up to the Constitutional Court to avoid unnecessary delays and several appeals?

On the issue of the District Development Model (DDM), he said that they had raised the issue of the state of the Local Economic Development (LED) units in the municipalities, as some municipalities have weak LED units. He mentioned that they appreciated the Department’s assistance in facilitating the implementation and development of the plans. The DTIC confirmed that some municipality DDM units are weak. With the DDM and the LED units not being in a sustainable and working state, he asked if the Department be involved in the development and implementation of these plans.

He said that he was disappointed in the Provincial Progress Reports, as some provinces' municipalities were not mentioned.

On the Re-imagined Industrial Strategy that identifies tourism as one of the seven national priority sectors, he asked what the benefits are of being one of the seven national priority sectors.


Mr Tharage (DG) said that he spoke to the CEO about the matter of the Eastern Cape, and he raised various challenges that he has experienced. Most of the tourism boards that did not have longstanding contractual arrangements with agencies in the marketing business, amongst others, found themselves with a problem that they are only allowed to procure for R30 000 or less at the moment, after the concord decision on the preferential procurement regulations. Therefore, they could not factor in this particular aspect because each transaction needs to be entered into and they have to write to National Treasury first. Then they must concur for the Department to be able to proceed. They found themselves in a situation where they did not have any concurrence when they needed to conclude everything. He said that the Department would find that they had some other make-shift arrangement. He spoke about municipalities having stand-alone products, those with long-term contracts with agencies and the role of South African Tourism (SAT). If Members took a look at the large facility that the Deputy Minister launched about a month ago in Baviaanskloof, they would realise that the Department could manage that project. This was a big project from the Department’s side, proving capacity.

Ms Ngwenya answered the questions about Programme One. The process has been finalised on filling the CFO position to the point where the appointment is being considered for approval. The vacancy is because the CFO retired and the Department was able to appoint another CFO through a transfer, but she later resigned. Ms Ngwenya said that the process had been completed, and they are just waiting on the final memorandum.

On the question on the youth and people with disability procurement, she said that the target of 40% of women-owned enterprises is a new APP project that the Department of Women proposed as part of the gender representation, planning and budgeting; it is going to be implemented for the first time in 2022/23. The statistics on how many of the youth and people with disabilities may have benefitted from the procurement process may be available, as they did not have them available. She said that the proposed new target's focus was only on women, but they were fully aware that there may have been women with disabilities who may have benefitted from the procurement process. She said they would make the statistic available to the Committee as soon as they are available.

On the 10% vacancy rate question, she said that they went through a process last year to ascertain their vacancies. From the allocation that they received from National Treasury, 10% of the vacancies within the Department constitute funded positions that are currently being filled at various stages.

Mr Maharaj started by answering where the money came from to fill the vacancies. He said that, with the advent of Covid-19 and the new way of doing business, the Department pre-empted that they would have savings in terms of travelling, the hiring of venues, where they envisaged that they would be making use of hybrid models of engagement in the future. They did not expect that their tenuous budget would not have been required to the extent that it was pre-COVID. Therefore, some savings have been identified there. He mentioned that they have had to finance the funding for the COE from within their baseline. They used goods and services re-prioritisation from the transfers and subsistence items, which amounted to a total of R20 million and the other R10 million they used for funding allocated to the TIP where it was re-prioritised for vacancies. He said that the Department has had to make sacrifices in its goods and services and the TIP budget to have the capacity to implement the programmes that they wanted to implement, together with the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. He said Treasury was not prepared to give the DT new money, and they therefore had to make some sacrifices. 

The Department has not received any new money for some initiatives that have been targeted in the TSRP. He said that the programme managers had been asked to re-prioritise their original budgets so that the Department could address some of the targeted initiatives of the TSRP. He mentioned that some of the initiatives related to some of the current work they have been doing.

On what happens to the TEF, as the Committee is aware, the Department has contractual obligations in terms of the agreement that it has in place. He said that because there are various uncertainties at this point on when the fund will have to release funds to the applicants. He was able to tell the Committee that the initial uptake of the fund was well supported. After they (Department) get over the hurdle of the interdict, they will need to move swiftly in terms of releasing the funds to the applicants. For these reasons, they are continuing their contractual commitment to pay the funds and establish the fund to continue when needed. He said that if they did not operate the fund the way government operates, they would have to surrender the funds in the respective years. Therefore, they continued to pay the money as one of their contractual obligations. He said that they could not redirect the money because it would have gone against the rule of budgeting.

The Chairperson said that he wanted to finalise Programme One before starting the next programme.

Mr Tharage said that this matter is rather complex. He explained that there are three departments involved: the DT (as the main client), the DTIC (as the custodian in terms of BBBEE) and the Department of Small Business Development (as the parent department for SEFA – the agency with whom the Department will be implementing this particular programme with). He said SEFA puts in money in the form of a loan. A banking partner brings in money in the form of a loan. The money that comes from the DT also comes as soft loans. He will not go into the legal strategy, but he said that all three parties are involved because they are all supposed to contribute to it. They have to capitalise the fund, and fortunately, the interdict did not include capitalising the fund. Therefore, they were able to proceed. However, before they could proceed with the processes, they went to a state attorney for a proper legal review and opinion. Thereafter, it went to National Treasury and it was approved. He highlighted that the TEF Fund is not a COVID-related fund. It originated from a call made by the Tourism Transformation Council of South Africa because they observed that the area of ownership was underdeveloped. The Council then asked to create a fund to ensure development in terms of ownership - that is how the TEF came about.

The total amount of the funds amounted to R1.2 billion. In the first call for applications deemed to be worth considering in terms of competition with one another were applications worth R5.2 billion; this was in a very short space of time. Therefore, it is clear that there is a big demand for this type of facility. Mr Tharage acknowledged that there might be other problems but that transformation and inclusivity are urgent matters that must be addressed everywhere. He emphasised that all departments need to deal with this matter.

Ms Malan answered the question on the implementation and detailed reports on the tourism sector recovery plan. She reminded the Committee that the TSRP is a plan developed by the entire sectors, including provinces and the public and private sectors. What they are doing in compiling the quarterly implementation reports is to work very closely with provinces and provide their inputs in terms of their feedback on the implementation of their actions within the plan. She indicated that they are not on the level they wish to be in terms of getting feedback from all the provinces but they are working very closely with them to ensure that all the achievements are reflected in the implementation reports. 

On the matter of the transport regulator, she said that it was a matter of concern, and they are aware of it. The Minister has requested an engagement with the Minister of Transport. They and the DG have been engaging with the Department on the official level, and they hope that the matter will be resolved soon. 

She mentioned that they wish to work together with other Departments; that is a part of their recovery plan. This is included in the plan as part of enablers - one of those enablers is to work together with the Department of Transport to ensure adequate airlift capacity for tourism. Although they have not had specific discussions around the ticket prices, they have had conversations on adequate airlift capacity. 

On the targeted countries for tourism development, she agreed that there are countries with tourism development potential. She said that most of their memoranda of understanding are signed with African countries. However, they do have a number of memoranda outside of the African continent. In terms of its market segmentation, South African tourism has prioritised 24 markets that it will be focusing on. She said they would detail that when they present to the Select Committee. This answers the question on the multilateral and bilateral fora - they are indeed engaging in multilateral and bilateral fora. The Minister and Deputy Minister engaged with counterparts in various countries to advance implementation of the MOUs already signed and develop the tourism potential in the other countries that have been identified.

Mr Tharage addressed the issue of the red-tape reductions. He said that the DT engaged a broader stakeholder forum with the industry. After the session, they made a call to the industry. They asked them to provide the Department with all the matters related to red tape in doing business in the sector so that the Department could have a coordinated, consolidated dossier to submit to the relevant Minister the Presidency. They are still waiting on the feedback, which would be taken through the particular processes that the Committee Chairperson was alluding to.

On engaging in other markets, he said that Southern Tourism would be at the Arab Travel Market in the coming week (08-14 May 2022). This is an example of how the Department is engaging with other markets. They are planning on more engagements in the future.

Ms Chettiar answered the questions on Programme Three. She agreed with Mr Dangor and said that things do change over 15-30 years. The benefits of master plans are twofold: firstly, it allows for proper integration of tourism into the long-term structure planning for a region; secondly, it allows for spatial planning to incorporate tourism plans. She said that this comes from their experience of working and observing the Cradle of Humankind and Dinokeng masterplans in Gauteng. They were both developed in 2001, and the plans continued to inform the development of the province's North Eastern and North Western quadrants. Even though they were developed 20 years ago, they still inform investment decisions around infrastructure investment and spatial planning for tourism. She confirmed that the plans are not fixed, but they allow the Department to interact with the longer-term planning in those two ways.

On the matter of resource mobilisation and investment facilitation contained within the TSRP, she said that is expressed in the work they are doing in the investment platform work. She said that there are two elements to this. The first relates to their work to sustain and support tourism supply. This relates to the work that they are doing in terms of maintenance of national and provincial assets and creating a new product for community-owned assets and diversification of the product offering in rural areas. The second relates to the work they are doing with the public and private sector to mobilise resources for tourism projects from different development funding institutions and private sector investors and donors. She said that there is not necessarily a separate fund but that it is incorporated in the work that they are doing in investment facilitation and also in the work that they are doing in destination development projects.

On statuary planning, she said that there are always negotiations when it comes to statuary planning processes. The entities responsible for statuary planning come to a compromise around what is possible within the rules and laws. As a government entity, they do not want to proceed without complying with the necessary rules, and that is why they work closely with the authorities to ensure that.

On the DDM, the capacity at local government and particularly within the LED spaces, she said that the Department believes that they invest in projects that are catalytic to tourism in those spaces. It is not feasible for the Department to invest in all of the projects they would like to see in those spaces. Therefore, where possible and feasible, they will include the projects of a catalytic nature in the pipeline of projects that the Department might invest in and implement themselves.

Ms Setwaba answered the questions on Programme Four. On developing the database, she provided the Committee with background on what informs the database in terms of the Tourism Act. The National Registrar, who the Minister appoints, is expected to keep a database with all details of those registered as tourist guides. She pointed out that the point of entry for the registration of tourist guides is with the provincial registrars and is then transmitted to the database. They have experienced some difficulties with this process. She said that they had developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to inform the updating of tourist guide registers by the provincial registrars to be able to maintain a credible database. On getting the system up and running, she said that they would be looking into this matter during this financial year. The consultation process is rather intense, and they are looking into an integrated system maintained by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) because the details of some tourist guides need to be verified by the DHA. With this in mind, she said that they need some skills to develop an integrated system. She said they are working with EPWP Skills Development Programme to ensure that the system is being developed well and that all the gaps are being addressed.

For this financial year, she said they are looking into developing a project plan that will inform all of the different aspects, including consultations with all relevant stakeholders. They already consulted at the HOD level, and provinces are on board in terms of gaps identified and recommendations. The DT will be briefing their principles on implementing the central database for Tourist Guides to the Ministers and the SMMEs on the following day.

On women in tourism, she said that they have already called for applications for women-owned enterprises to be selected for the Women in Tourism Support Programme. She said that the potential applicants had received applications from women from everywhere in the county, in both rural and urban areas. Depending on success of implementation of the 255 women and the budget that they will be allowed, the Department should be able to expand this programme. However, this was not the only programme that focused on empowering women. The Incubation Programme is also aimed at supporting tourism SMMEs, aiming at including women. They have the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) pilot project that focuses on women in tourism in rural areas. The programme was launched in a rural area in November 2022. The DT has been able to identify the specific needs and barriers of women in rural areas, and it has developed a plan that addresses the specific needs and barriers. 

On the issue of safety and domestic tourism campaigns, she said that the Department intends to meaningfully address the issues around safety in the hotspots that have been identified. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the campaigns will be bound together with the members of SAPS. The Department will also be partnering up with the Department of Transport to discuss some of the safety issues. Together with this, she said they would also be bringing in community safety forums. Once communities realise the benefits of tourism within their communities, they will be encouraged to protect the safety of the tourists.

She said the Department would align with the SAT's plans in its mandate on promoting and marketing domestic tourism.

Mr Tharage said one point of conversation that Ms Setwaba might have wanted to address on the matter of the 2 500 youth retrenched. He asked if there were already engagements taking place with possible employers on how they would possibly address this issue.

Ms Setwaba said they had already obtained letters of expression of interest from possible employer, before the programmes were implemented. Since COVID-19, employers were asked how many trainees were retrenched and if there was a possibility of reemployment. She said that they are busy assisting employers in retaining the staff that they have retrenched this financial year because of the pandemic.

She pointed out that they have communicated with colleges to ensure that the students left out of an important part of their studies do not take too long to graduate. The Department wants to ensure that the students get the maximum exposure and experience and are equipped with the necessary skills to enter into the Incubation Programmes to be employed by other companies.

The Chairperson said that an answer was still outstanding on the PCR tests.

Ms Malan said that the requirements to enter a country are published by the countries themselves and not by the airlines. She said that there are ongoing discussions with the Department of Health and international organisations around health passports, where one of the objectives is to align the entry requirements when entering different countries. However, this is still ongoing, but the PCR tests are still required for travels into South Africa.

The Chairperson asked about the status of the SAT interim board, as its term is coming to an end.

Mr Tharage said that the new board's recruitment process has commenced; they have received nominations, and they have gone through some processes. He said that they are at an advanced stage but that the process has to culminate in a Cabinet memorandum that would lead to the actual appointment of the new board. The current board’s term ends at the end of the current month (May 2022). He said that they had commenced recruiting a new CEO, but this process is still with the board.

He placed two more matters on record. On the matter of 100% compliant invoices paid within 30 days, he said that he wished to take the compliments on this. They have been hovering above 95% but they are working towards 100%.

On the issue of floods, it does not necessarily fall under a specific programme. The Department cannot provide the Committee with a specific figure because this matter is still being looked into. They are still busy gathering and collating information; only after that will they be able to see the totality of the picture. There will definitely be financial implications, but it is still unclear.

The Chairperson asked the DG to address the issue of advertising new tenders and the threshold of tenders.

Mr Tharage said that they identified all the critical things that need to be advertised and reached out to National Treasury. They have received some tenders, and this will have an impact on the audit. He explained that a number of investigations required external investigators, which was associated with one or two irregular expenses. They have reached out National Treasury on this matter, and they are still waiting on a response. He said that, in the meanwhile, they had developed their own policy, and they have shared it with National Treasury. They were supposed to advertise certain posts and were unable to advertise because of limited funds.

The Chairperson thanked the Department for its presentation. He said that it was planned and presented well – easy to follow. He handed over to the Deputy Minister for closing remarks.

Deputy Minister Mahlalela thanked the Chairperson and the Committee for their engagement and the counselling they have given the Department. He said that the Department always strives to do its best and contribute to the revival of the economy and the sector's recovery. He emphasised that transformation within the sector is limited to the TEF and entails a lot more. The TEF mainly addressed one element, but there are other programmes that the DT is implementing that contribute toward transformation.

The PCR tests are a matter of health and the PCR test will remain a requirement for people who are entering South Africa, or people will be required to do an antibody test once they arrive in South Africa. Whether this requirement has a negative impact on the tourism sector is a matter that can still be researched to determine what impact it has on tourism in South Africa.

He said that it is true that most of the municipalities are not in a capacitated state, and tourism is not a priority for these municipalities, even those that are in the LED spaces. He said that they hope that the DDM will assist in prioritising tourism in all the spheres of government.

He concluded that the recognition and prioritisation of tourism are key pillars for economic growth in South Africa. The main issue is realisation by government that tourism is a key sector to address some of the Department's challenges. Secondly, it calls upon itself to become innovative and prioritise the roles expected from each of them as incumbents.

The meeting was adjourned.

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