ATC151123; Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on provincial oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province, dated 13 November 2015
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on provincial oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province, dated 13 November 2015
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism, having undertaken the provincial oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province from 20-24 July 2015, reports as follows:
The government of South Africa has realised the strategic economic impact of tourism in job creation and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. In streamlining tourism as an important economic sector, the government has entrenched its socio-economic value in the National Development (NDP). The NDP envisions tourism as a major source of revenue and employment for the country through the investment in infrastructure, product and service development. It envisions rising employment, productivity and incomes as a way to ensure a long-term solution to achieve a reduction in inequality, an improvement in living standards ensuring a dignified existence for all South Africans. Tourism is identified as one of the six key priority economic sectors to fulfil government’s imperatives to create sustainable jobs and to ensure that inclusive economic development is realised equitably, particularly in rural areas. The government has identified key priorities for the current term, including creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods. These priorities are articulated in the government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) which highlights priorities and outcomes over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. The committee’s mandate is to monitor the contribution of the tourism sector to the creation of decent employment through inclusive growth.
Unlocking the potential of tourism at a national, provincial and local levels is dependent on financial and logistical support from all the three spheres of government, private sector, communities and the labour. It is only if such support is demonstrated that tourism will be in a position to play the expected role of achieving the competitive edge needed by the economy. The role of the Minister of Tourism and the Members of Executive Councils responsible for Tourism in the provinces is critical in providing political support and profiling the role of tourism, both in government and provincial legislatures, in fulfilling the National Development Plan. The political support is also needed in motivating for necessary resources, especially budget appropriated for tourism by both the national and provincial treasuries, to unleash the full potential of tourism at both the national and provincial levels.
Having engaged various stakeholders in the tourism sector and analysed what was presented by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and the South African Tourism (SAT) during the 2015 Budget Vote deliberations, the committee formulated its Annual Performance Plan which includes undertaking provincial oversight visits, primarily to assess the performance of the sector against the NDP expectations. These provincial oversight visits are geared towards assessing the achievements of the sector and evaluate the nature of challenges, prospects for inclusive growth, particularly in the rural areas, and the extent of government support at all levels.
The Committee was alarmed by the recent tourism statistics which reveal that the Eastern Cape is not performing well on international arrivals as it occupies a number eight spot out of nine provinces in the country. The Committee deemed it necessary to start with the Eastern Cape Province to understand the challenges facing the province with an aim of making recommendations to the National Minister of Tourism on possible interventions and collaborations to salvage the sector in the Eastern Cape. The visit was therefore the part of the implementation of the committee programme as adopted.
- Objectives of the visit
The objectives of the oversight visit were:
- To assess the state of tourism in the Eastern Cape Province.
- To enhance cooperation and coordination between all spheres of government in developing and managing tourism.
- To promote for growth and development of the tourism sector.
- To assess the level of stakeholder participation, both in the public and private sectors.
- To assess support for cultural and heritage tourism growth.
- To assess support for sustainable livelihoods with regards to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs); and
- To assess the implementation of the tourism Social Responsibility Intervention (SRI) projects in the province.
Table 1: The Committee delegation comprised of the following members:
Name of Member
Ms. L.S Makhubela-Mashele (Acting Chairperson)
Ms. S.T Xego-Sovita
Ms. P.E Adams
Ms. E.K.M Masehela
Mr. S.D Bekwa
African National Congress (ANC)
Mr. J. Vos
Mr. G.R Krumbock
Mr. A.G Whitfield
Democratic Alliance (DA)
Mr. J. A Esterhuizen
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
Ms. B. Ngcobo
Ms. A. Matshobeni
African National Congress (ANC)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Mr. J. Boltina
Dr. P.S Khuzwayo
Ms. J. Ntuli
Ms. N. Tshoma
- The oversight process
The Committee made preparations during the planning process of the oversight visit to meet and have engagements with varied tourism stakeholders in the Eastern Cape to get a comprehensive appreciation of issues in the province. A number of meetings and discussion sessions were organised with a myriad of organisations. To obtain a balanced view on the state of the tourism in the province, the Committee received a provincial perspective on tourism from the Head of Department of the Provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism; and the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA). The Committee also visited selected Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) projects implemented by the National Department of Tourism through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) funding. The two metropolitan municipalities in the Eastern Cape, namely, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay, were visited, including Makana local municipality to ascertain the state of tourism at the municipal level as well as the prospects and challenges experienced in the tourism sector. The tourism SMMEs supported by the Tourism Enterprise Partnership were also visited to check the impact of support given.
- The oversight schedule
Table 2: Oversight visit schedule in Eastern Cape Province:
20 July 2015
21 July 2015
Economic Development Regional Offices & Osner Hotel
22 July 2015
Visit to Kiwane Campsite; Mdantsane Lodge; and to TEP supported SMMEs
23 July 2015
Steve Biko Heritage Trail; Makana Municipality; and Grahamstown Caravan Park
King Williams Town
24 July 2015
Nelson Mandela Metro Site visit Ecotourism project
- The oversight process
The actual oversight visit included:
- Briefing sessions held with the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs & Tourism and the Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency. The meeting was intended to obtain a provincial perspective on the state of tourism in the province and an outline of prospects, challenges and opportunities.
- The meetings were followed by an afternoon hearing at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality together with tourism industry stakeholders. The meeting was intended for the Buffalo City to explain the state of tourism in the City, coordination and participation of the private sector in government programmes.
- Site visits were undertaken to Kiwane Campsite; Mdantsane Lodge and to the SMMEs supported by the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP). Site visits to SRI projects were intended to check progress on the projects implemented by the National Department of Tourism and establish value for money. Site visits to the SMMEs were intended for the Committee to obtain first-hand experience on prospects, opportunities and challenges faced by the SMMEs and the support provided by the three spheres of government.
- The Committee had an opportunity to visit the Steve Biko Heritage Trail (Phase 2) and proceeded to meet with the Makana Municipality in Grahamstown and tourism industry stakeholders; and then visited the Grahamstown Caravan Park; and
- The visit was concluded with a meeting with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality; and a visit to the Ecotourism project. The sessions were intended to receive a briefing on the state of tourism in the Metropolitan Municipality and to assess progress on the current state of the Ecotourism project.
- Briefings by the provincial authorities, metros, and municipalities
The briefings are clustered according to the category of stakeholders engaged by the Committee instead of the day in which they were met in the sequence of oversight. This is done to provide an easy reference on perspectives and common issues raised by various categories of stakeholders. The engagements with the provincial government and the Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency yielded invaluable insights for the Committee on the state of tourism in the province. These engagements were used as a springboard for subsequent engagements with metropolitan municipalities, local municipalities and other stakeholders later in the oversight visit.
5.1 Briefing by the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs & Tourism
The Eastern Cape had recently launched the 2020 Eastern Cape Tourism Master Plan. The Master Plan is a broad over-arching plan and a provincial blueprint that guides tourism development and promotion. The plan was adopted by the Provincial Executive Council in April 2015. The key issues from the master plan include:
- A cohesive tourism plan with clearly defined focus areas and a strong tourism sector that is premised on intensifying efforts to improve cooperation, collaboration and coordination between the government and the private sector at provincial and local government.
- Political and executive leadership is championing coordination at provincial level and a more proactive and a robust turnaround plan to change the current state.
- Constant monitoring and analysis of statistics, trends and patterns to pay attention to factors that might impede growth and development.
- A detailed action plan is developed and sets out aspirations for the Eastern Cape tourism industry over the next 5 years to 2020.
- The plan adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and continued strategic focus to the collective efforts by all tourism stakeholders to ensure their investment and development activities complement and give more impetus to the 2020 Tourism Master Plan.
The Master Plan is driven by a number of strategic thrusts and key priorities that guide development of specific aspects of tourism in the province. These include:
- Policy, strategy regulations, government compliance and monitoring and evaluation.
- Tourism growth and development, focusing on the demand side.
- Tourism growth and development, focusing on the supply side.
- People development; and
- Enablers of growth.
The province is also driving coordination of the sector through creating platforms for interaction amongst various role players. The tourism coordinating structures are as follows:
- Arrangements at provincial level – provincial tourism forum is chaired by the MEC while the provincial tourism coordinating committee (intergovernmental forum) is chaired by the Head of Department. The Provincial Conventions Bureau is still under discussion to provide coordination of bidding and hosting events in the province.
- Arrangements at Metro level – Metro Councils tourism coordinating structures are being proposed and discussions are underway with Metros to formalise such structures as stipulated in institutional arrangements proposals in the National Tourism Sector Strategy. All 6 district municipalities have formalised their coordinating structures and two are being resuscitated. Membership based tourism associations have also been established at district level and are managed by the private sector.
- Arrangements at local level – there are local tourism associations, however some are not functioning well.
- Briefing by Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency (ECPTA)
The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency is established through the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency Act (Act No. 2 of 2010). The agency is more focussed on destination development and conducts some marketing activities. The key focus areas for destination development in the 2015/16 financial year include:
- Destination development management - meant to ensure compliance with the Eastern Cape Provincial Tourism regulations, implement transformation initiatives for the tourism sector, monitor the development of quality tourism products and facilitate investment opportunities in tourism;
- Registration of Tourist Guides - which provides oversight and monitor compliance of tour guides with legislation;
- Developing Destination Development strategy aligned to the development of niche products in the province;
- Developing business plans for the Wild Coast N2 project and Gariep.
- Installation of provincial welcoming signage and implementation of tourism safety programme;
- Co-hosting heritage and cultural events to enhance cultures of the province.
- Develop B-BBEE guidelines for tourism businesses;
- Grading of facilities and quality assurance;
- Enterprise skills development and mentorship; including supporting youth in tourism; and enterprise support through market platforms;
- Tour guide registration, maintenance of database and capacity building; and
- Facilitating tourism service excellence awards.
With regard to the East Cape Parks and Tourism Agency future plans, the Agency indicated that their tourism plans will include a number of initiatives meant to improve destination competitiveness. The future plans include:
- Development of niche tourism products;
- Continued support of tourism projects and tourism enterprises.
- Job creation through tourism opportunities;
- Awareness of culture and heritage route support; and
- Improved tourism product quality and services.
The province acknowledged that there are critical strategic issues that need to be addressed to support the development of the destination. These include working closely with other departments and engaging the private sector to achieve the developmental goals of tourism in the province. The key strategic issues highlighted by the province include:
- Road access to major attractions of the province such as the heritage sites and provincial nature reserves; and
- Transformation beyond compliance by seeking out and adopting innovations that will make a fundamental change in participation and ownership by Blacks.
The ECPTA also highlighted a number challenges that present obstacles for the Eastern Cape to perform at the required level and harness the economic benefits of tourism. These are combination of challenges presented by factors beyond the control of the province and those which could be addressed by the province itself. Some of these challenges include:
- Lack of marketing budget - including collaborative marketing from other stakeholders in the province.
- No international airport with direct flight from overseas markets
- High cost of domestic flights to the province.
- Safety / crime against tourists.
- Access to facilities, with particular emphasis on the Nelson Mandela Museum and Red Location Museum.
- Tourism information centres.
- Brand roll out and Brand confusion; and
- Lack of provincial research capacity at the agency level and municipalities.
5.3 Briefing by Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
The Committee visited the Buffalo City Municipality and was welcomed by the Cllr. Pumla Nazo who is a Member Mayoral Council (MMC) responsible for tourism in the Metro. The purpose of the meeting was to receive an overview on the state of tourism in the municipality as well as envisaged tourism programmes. The MMC eloquently took the Committee through all the tourism programmes of the Metro.
The overview of the Buffalo City also provided the Committee with information on projects implemented by the National Department of Tourism in the Metro. The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is one of the two metros in the Eastern Cape and is centrally located, making it the gateway to many parts of the province. It consists of three regional hubs, that is, East London, Mdantsane and King Williams Town / Bhisho.
The organisational structure of the Metro is new and has an impact on tourism. In 2014, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipal Council (BCMM) approved a new structure of the institution and tourism has been elevated from being a unit to become a fully-fledged Department in the Directorate of Economic Development. This elevation is boosted by the role tourism plays in the local economy.
The Metro implements a number of tourism projects which include a tourism infrastructure programme; tourism SMME support programme; tourism awareness and capacity building programme; economic events programme; tourism information provision programme; and destination marketing programme.
The Metro is also involved in a number of tourism infrastructure projects which are mainly focussed on participation of the local communities in the sector. These projects have been secured from the National Department of Tourism’s Social Responsibility Implementation Programme. The projects currently under implementation are facing challenges that include:
- Mdantsane Community Lodge – the project is funded by the National Department of Tourism. It involves the construction of tourist chalets, restaurant and a conference facility. It is aimed at benefitting the community of Mdantsane. The project is currently in the planning stage.
- Kiwane Campsite Resort – the project is funded by the National Department of Tourism. It involves the construction of tourist chalets, conference facility and a restaurant. The project is aimed at benefitting the community of Tyolomnqa. The project is currently at implementation stage.
- Tyolomnqa Wilderness Camp – the project was funded by the National Department of Tourism and involved the construction of tourist chalets, conference centre and restaurant. The project was put on hold due non-availability of funds.
There is also a Tourism SMME Support Programme which is aimed at providing support to SMMEs. The support that is provided towards the provision of road signage, grading of accommodation establishments and printing of marketing material. The municipality also provides various training for SMMEs. The training provided is aimed at developing the requisite skills to run successful tourism businesses. The following training has been provided to local SMMEs:
- Advance Cooking Course which benefits Bread and Breakfast establishments as well as restaurants;
- Interior decoration and flower arrangement;
- Use of E-marketing tools; and
- Tour guiding level 2.
The Tourism Awareness and Capacity Building Programme is provided to create awareness about the importance of tourism and opportunities that exists in the tourism industry, and to build the required capacity to SMMEs.
One of the programmes relates to how to start a tourism business. This programme is meant to train individuals who are interested in starting a tourism related business and provides them with specific information on different types of businesses they are interested in.
With regards to tour guides, the tour guide training at NQF level 4 is provided to up-skill of tour guides in their trade.
As an important part of destination management, the Metro runs a Tourism Information Provision Programme. The Buffalo City operates three tourist information offices in East London Airport; King Williamstown and Dimbaza. Currently, the City is in a process of securing space along the beach front to set-up the main tourism office.
Notwithstanding all the good work done by the city, a number of challenges were communicated to the Committee as areas that need immediate attention. The reported challenges include the following:
- Lack of sufficient budget to drive tourism programmes.
- A surge in crime committed against tourists.
- An outdated tourism sector plan which needs to be reviewed; and
- Negative publicity in the media.
- Briefing by Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
The Committee visited the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and was met by the Cllr. Zolile Jodwana who is the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture on behalf of the Executive Mayor. Cllr Jodwana was accompanied by the staff of the municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. The purpose of the meeting was to get a briefing on the state of tourism in the Municipality and progress on envisaged programmes.
In the their presentation, the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Agency briefed the Committee that the primary focus of the agency is the implementation of a government led and industry driven tourism marketing strategy for the city that is aligned to the provincial and national tourism goals. Promoting the growth of the tourism industry in the Metro and spreading the benefits of the industry to historically disadvantaged individuals and communities. This includes ensuring the sustainable promotion of the tourism industry in the city through coordination of public sector actions and leveraging both private and public resources. The agency also markets events in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, in line with the Events Strategy to ensure coordination.
The strategic overview for 2014 – 2017 financial years is to position Nelson Mandela Bay as the “Birthplace of Freedom” celebrated for its unique urban, natural and cultural offering. The objectives of the strategy are to:
- Create awareness about Nelson Mandela Bay as South Africa’s Birthplace of Freedom.
- Optimise tourism volumes and yield for Nelson Mandela Bay in a totally sustainable manner and establish good levels of tourism business all year round.
- Optimise the distribution of tourism benefits within the greater Nelson Mandela Bay region.
- Engage with Nelson Mandela Bay tourism businesses to help them become highly competitive, embrace transformation and adopt sustainable practices; and
- Engage local citizens as a proud community of ambassadors for Nelson Mandela Bay.
The domestic market is doing very well in the destination, and based on national figures, it is estimated that 52.8 percent of South Africans travel each year. On average, domestic travellers take 2.5 trips per year, and 69 percent of trips are for visiting friends and relatives. Around 62 percent of trips are taken within the home province. Travel mostly is over school holidays and weekends for leisure and business trips. Spend per domestic trip is around R930 for 4 nights.
The marketing pillars of the city include heritage; culture; nature / environment; coast; wildlife; and outdoor adventure.
The city has also developed a Destination Pass whereby messaging experiences are promoted and tourists using the Pass get more for less and are assured value for money in the city as a family destination. All the experiences are packaged in a very affordable way that promotes domestic tourism.
The target market tactics focus more on local consumers and this is done through citizen campaigns, tourism month, high season period, and public relations. Intra-provincial travellers are targeted through aggressive marketing of all local events through public relations and digital. In promoting domestic tourism, the national visitor focus will be more on small activations in collaboration with ECPTA, activations at major national events, SABC television programmes, public relations opportunities, travel people, and consumer shows.
Nelson Mandela Bay draws its international Market from Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, India, China, North America, South America (Brazil & Argentina), and Russia.
The agency operates on a shoestring budget of R12.3 million which is a grant from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. This budget is overstretched and does not allow the agency to conduct all the activities required to market the destination and bring necessary international and domestic tourists.
The agency develops its own tourism statistics. However, the agency does not have a full research capacity to analyse trends and influence tourism development and marketing activities. The sources of information include the accommodation occupancy, visitor information centres, visitor surveys, event impact systems and other sources such as South African Tourism annual reports, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa Business Index, and Stats SA tourism reports.
The key strategy elements of the agency include an increase in length of stay, increase spend per day / trip, reducing seasonality, and increasing the number of visitors to the destination.
There are a number of new developments around the city that will boost the product mix and enhance destination product offerings. These include Route 67; Bay West Mall; Kings Beach Development; Mohair Tours; and the Algoa Bay Hope Spot.
The agency also appraised the Committee on a number of challenges that hamper destination competitiveness. The highlighted challenges relate to:
- Product development.
- Perceptions around the safety and security.
- Flagship events.
- Red Location Museum.
- Maintenance of Heritage Sites.
- Infrastructure maintenance.
- Destination name.
- Insufficient marketing budget.
- Proposed fish farm and its location along the beach.
- Briefing by the Makana Local Municipality
The Committee visited the Makana Municipality in Grahamstown and was met by the Deputy Mayor and Members of the Council. The purpose of the visit was to get a brief overview on the state of tourism in the Municipality and on municipal tourism programmes.
The Committee was informed that the economic development approach of the District is structured around seven core strategies based on a review of trends in rural regeneration strategies as well as a reflection on the experience of the district and other institutions in promoting development in the region. The seven strategies for economic development include: increasing agricultural income; investing in rural capital; broadening economic participation; developing skills base; improving connectivity and utility infrastructure; regenerating core towns; and building local and regional networks.
In support of tourism in the district, the Department of Economic Development provides support to local municipalities to promote tourism in their respective areas and generally works towards tourism destination development, management and marketing. The Tourism Master Plan (TMP) of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality maps out the strategic direction for tourism growth and development in the area, and was a culmination of the plans in each of the nine local municipalities located within the district.
One of the first steps in the development of the tourism industry in the district is the configuration of appropriate institutional arrangements. The TMP recommends the establishment of local tourism organisations (LTOs) in each of the nine local municipalities. The Local Tourism Organisation (LTO) has been established as a partnership between local government and the private sector that seeks to grow the tourism industry by increasing the number of tourists and in doing so increase the economic benefits to the region as a whole.
The Makana Municipality indicated that they understand that the establishment of LTOs not only creates a platform for dialogue between the district and local municipalities and tourism stakeholders in each area, but also puts in place steering teams for the implementation of tourism-related programmes and projects in each local municipality.
Some of the initiatives envisaged by the municipality include:
- Intensification of the pilot project of “Kwam eMakana.”
- Revitalisation of the Shosholoza Train.
- To pursue the Egazini Memorial Precinct; and
- Build strong relations with Rhodes University to ensure that the work of the Isikhumbuzo Applied History Centre yields positive impact on the community.
The broader goals of these initiatives include:
- Developing a more inclusive understanding of the past.
- Bringing more tourism spending into the hands of locals through innovative ways of sharing knowledge.
- Designing creative tourist offerings which would appeal to visitors interested in quality and in-depth engagement with communities.
- Utilising a comprehensive analysis of trends evident at the annual National Arts Festival regarding consumer tastes and artistic interpretations to design new tourism products that are of proven contemporary value.
- Nurture the market for internal South African black tourists to visit and learn about places and events they felt are relevant to them.
The Municipality highlighted its challenges to the Committee on why they are struggling to bring necessary numbers to the destination. The Makana Municipality stated that they are a category B Municipality and the main challenge is that the municipality is currently under administration in accordance with section 139 of the Constitution of the Republic South Africa, (Act 108 of 1996). It is therefore difficult to attract investment when the municipality is under administration and this affects tourism investments as well. Other reported challenges included:
- The difficulty to attach time-frames for project completion.
- Routes development to access iconic products.
- Insufficient tourism budget.
- Perceptions of safety and security.
- Bylaws which are still based on apartheid regime and the municipality is still amending and reviewing these bylaws.
- Accessibility to the Province; and
- Lack of signage.
- Project Site visits
The Committee visited Social Responsibility Intervention (SRI) projects as part of the oversight work. The rationale for visiting these projects is that the projects were funded by the National Department of Tourism and there had been some reported challenges with regard to the overall implementation of SRI projects by the Department throughout the country. The specific purpose was to check the state of projects, progress to date, and budget expenditure on projects.
- Visit to Kiwane Campsite
The Kiwane Campsite project is an accommodation establishment which is intended to build chalets; staff houses; upgrade an existing hall into a restaurant; build a 250 seat conference facility; an ablution block; as well as associated bulk infrastructure such as water; road; electricity and landscaping.
An amount of R19 million was initially budgeted for the project. A total of R18.4 million was spent totalling 97 percent of the project funds. The company named Manasseh Holdings was appointed as the implementing agent. The project was meant to be completed by June 2013. Unfortunately the Department had to terminate the contract with Manasseh Holdings due to slow and unsatisfactory work and alleged mismanagement of the funds. The following issues led to the contract termination:
- Non-payment or late payment of EPWP workers resulting in contravention of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, EPWP Ministerial Determination and Code of Good Works.
- Slow and non-satisfactory construction works.
- Lack of consistent site supervision by the Engineer from Manasseh Holdings.
- Alleged misinformation with regards to expenditure of the project; and
- A total of 97 percent of the project funds was spent and yet the project was not completed.
The NDT has since opened a case with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate the alleged mismanagement of funds. The investigation is currently underway. At the time of termination of the contract the project was about 60 percent complete. The Department has appointed another service provider to complete the project. The service provider is currently finalising the technical assessment report to indicate in detail what will be needed to complete the project. The Committee was informed that there were no architectural designs and plans approved for the project and the Eastern Cape environmental authorities have indicated that there is a need to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment before the project can proceed.
The ownership and managing agent will be under the management of the Buffalo City Municipality and the facility will be owned by the Tyolomnqa community.
6.2 Visit to Mdantsane Lodge
The Committee was scheduled to visit the Mdantsane Lodge project implemented by the National Department of Tourism. The Committee was however unable to reach the project site due to weather conditions on the day as it was raining and the vehicles could not navigate the wet and muddy access road. Nonetheless, the NDT reports that the project is aimed at upgrading an existing accommodation / day visitors tourism facility on the banks of the Bridle Drift Dam.
An amount of R13.5 million was budgeted for the project. The project is still under planning and the business plan evaluation is complete, waiting for the environmental authorisation and Hydrology report.
The project deliverables include building platforms for caravan parks; roads works and parking; step and terra-force behind parking; sewer reticulation; water supply; and electrical works.
When the construction phase is complete, the Buffalo City Municipality will hand over the project to a proposed section 21 company as an operating agent which will then operate and maintain the project through income generated funds.
- Site visit to Steve Biko Heritage Trail (Phase 2)
As part of its visit to King Williamstown, the Committee in this phase of the oversight programme undertook a visit to Steve Biko Heritage Trail. The Committee had an opportunity to visit the Steve Biko Centre which is dedicated to the legacy of the late anti-apartheid activist Bantu Stephen Biko.
The Centre was established in 1998 as an independent, non-profit, public benefit organisation. It mobilises funding in Biko’s legacy for developmental purposes. The focus and methodology of the Centre are inspired by the legacy and the approach of Bantu Biko. The vision of the Centre is to be the premier, independent promoter of the values that Steve Biko lived and died for, rooted on restoring people to their true humanity.
The Legacy Projects implemented by the Centre include the Biko Heritage Trail; and the Steve Biko Centre. The programmes implemented by the Centre include international dialogue (public lectures, dialogues and seminars; and community forums); Leadership development (include consciousness, community; and capacity building); Research, policy and publications which include (research and policy formulation; and fellowship programmes). The Steve Biko Centre is comprised of a museum; library and educational training facilities; cultural performance and production spaces; community media centre; and retail facilities.
The Legacy Project objectives are to:
- Provide training and educational opportunities, particularly for youth and previously disadvantaged individuals.
- Promote sustainable livelihoods through SMMEs development.
- Contribute to poverty eradication through the development of cultural and tourism industries; and
- Document and provide access to South Africa’s history and heritage.
The Biko Heritage Trail comprises seven sites. Five sites are graded by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) as Grade 1 National Heritage Sites and are in the process of declaration. One site has been endorsed by Cabinet as a Legacy Project. All sites are included in the National Heritage Council’s (NHC) Liberation Heritage Route. They are also included on UNESCOs Interim World Heritage list. These include the Biko Bridge; the Biko Statue; the Biko Home at No.15 Leopold Street; Zanempilo Clinic; Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance; and the Steve Biko Centre.
Anticipated outcomes at the construction phase of the Centre were poverty eradication through creation of 600 construction related jobs and 51 permanent employment opportunities. There are also opportunities for numerous third party opportunities such as (accommodation; dinning; merchandising; performance; tour operations; and transportation).
The actual outcomes of the Centre have been poverty eradication through creation of 611 construction related jobs, 72 from Ginsberg, and 78 permanent employment opportunities; and numerous third party opportunities. Education and Skills Development, 18,544 learners and students were recorded in the first three years and 25 Arts, Culture and Heritage Trainees. Heritage and Tourism recorded 111, 293 visitors in the first three years. Educationally, more than 5000 learners and students visited the Centre in the first three years of its operations. With regard to heritage and Tourism, about 25,000 visitors were recorded in the first three years.
With regard to issues of sustainability, although the Steve Biko Centre is not entirely self-sustaining at this stage, inroads towards achieving sustainability have been made. These include:
- Training and conferencing facilities.
- Target marketing plan to attract a larger clientele.
- Restaurant and lounge.
- Memorabilia shop.
- Increased programmatic activity ensures higher foot traffic, therefore increased sales; and
- Offering a wider range of merchandising.
There is an expansion potential of the Centre with the potential of providing an accommodation solution in the area as the nearest hotel is in East London. The foot traffic to the Centre in its second year of operation was a total of 70,449 people, which included school groups; domestic and foreign tourists. Provincial government and Provincial Legislature are in close proximity and this provides opportunities for hosting government events and conferences.
The national Department of Tourism entered into an agreement with the Steve Biko Foundation to implement some aspects of the Biko Heritage Trail. An amount of R12 062 348 was allocated to the project for Earthworks, Site establishment; Palisade Fencing; Site clearance; construction of Park walkways; paving; landscaping; construction of water features; Theme Garden; construction of Memory Wall; construction of the parking area, sewage reticulation; construction of the dining area; Biko sanitary points; and the supply and installation of cinema projection equipment at the auditorium.
- Site visit to Grahamstown Caravan Park
The Committee visited the Caravan Park Phase 2, which is an upgrading of the existing Caravan Park. The National Department of Tourism entered into an agreement with Performance Unlimited in May 2011 for the implementation of the project for a total budget of R12.2 million for the period 1 February to 15 July 2014. An amount of R12.1 million is spent to date on the project.
Project deliverables included site establishment and repair of the veranda, implementation of a Storm Water Management System within the Caravan Park, roadway construction within the Caravan Park, parking area construction within the park; and reinforcement of the banks within the Caravan Park. The owning agent of the Municipality is the Makana Local Municipality. The Makana Municipality has entered into a ten year lease agreement with Mthombo Investments Holdings as a private operator for the project. The Makana Caravan Park is trading under the name Makana Resorts.
The Committee learnt that there was a period when Makana Resorts was not trading due to structural defects in the buildings and the storm water which brought debris into the site and eroded some aspects of the business rendering the business unoperational. As a result Mthombo Holdings has not paid rental to the Makana Municipality as per stipulated in the lease agreement. A litigation matter is currently before the courts between the Makana Local Municipality and Mthombo Holdings.
- Site visit to Motherwell Ecotourism Project
The visit to the Nelson Mandela Metro included a site visit to the Motherwell Ecotourism Project. The Department highlighted that the duration of the project was meant to be from 1 June 2006 to 31 December 2009.
The project deliverables included the construction of a multi-purpose environmental education centre and tourism unit; construct support amenities at the environmental education centre for day visitors; establish a hiking trail in the Swartkops Nature Reserve; and landscape the geographic area. Additional deliverables were expected to be an office block; paving; parking; full landscaping; extension of the current conference facility and fencing.
An amount of R2.925 million was allocated for the project and the project received additional funding of R6 million. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had funded some components to complete all the deliverables.
The Committee discovered on the site that the project is currently not functional and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has taken matters on their hands to make the structures on site usable. The Nelson Mandel Metro informed the Committee that the project deliverables meant for the project were not implemented. The Contractor left an unusable structure and the Metro had to finish the structure so that it could be used for environmental education purposes. There was also an incomplete structure meant for an amphitheatre. The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro had to destroy the amphitheatre as this structure served no purpose anymore. The structure completed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is currently used for environmental education and by the angling clubs in the area. The National Department of Tourism has instituted a forensic audit of the project.
6.6 Site visit to Egazini Memorial Precinct
The Committee had an opportunity to be taken by the Makana Municipality to Egazini Memorial Precinct to see the site significance. This project is however not implemented by the National Department of Tourism. It is reported that on the 22 April 1819, after a protracted struggle with the Boers and the British to reclaim land and cattle, the amaXhosa under the leadership of Nxele also known as Makana, launched an attack on a small British settlement, in the area now known as Grahamstown. The British responded with cannon fire. The weaponry was new and not anticipated by the amaXhosa warriors. Although British losses were few, at least 1000 amaXhosa warriors died in the attack. It is estimated that the majority died on the banks of the Kowie River.
The area where the majority of warriors was said to have died is located in Fingo Village. It is known as Egazini “Place of Blood”. The site is bound by the Kowie River to the east of the ridge where Makana and the amaXhosa warriors assembled for battle and from which they launched attacks. The Egazini site is a tangible record of the struggle against colonialism and dispossession. The battle was a critical turning point in South African history, leading to the escalation of land dispossession and colonial expansion.
In 2002, the Makana Municipality nominated the site for heritage status. The South African Heritage Resources Agency committed to declaring the site a national heritage site in 2013. Egazini is the heart of the Egazini Memorial Precinct, a cultural landscape development project, which forms part of Makana Municipality’s Neighbourhood Development Strategy. Since 2009, the municipality has worked to establish the project. The precinct aims to blur the boundary between town and township and create a recreational and tourism corridor through the communities of Fingo and Vukani. Components of the precinct are:
- The Egazini Memorial Park – the heritage site.
- A walking tour route through the Vukani Greenbelt.
- An interpretation Centre located on the ridge from where the attack was launched; and
- The first rugby field for black players in South Africa – also to be declared a heritage site.
By integrating neighbourhood development within the heritage conservation / tourism framework, the Municipality intends to:
- Develop and conserve the Egazini heritage site and its cultural and natural landscape, for the benefit of the community of Grahamstown, South Africans and international visitors.
- Create a green heritage tourism corridor through the Vukani/ Fingo area, generating partnerships and socio-economic opportunities for these communities.
- Protect, promote and interpret indigenous knowledge and cultural expression, in particular Xhosa culture.
- Provide facilities for the promotion, practice and performance of art, drama and dance; and
- Promote life-long learning and generate partnerships, particularly in the area of cultural and environmental education, for the benefit of all citizens and particularly the youth living in the township.
A feasibility study commissioned by the National Treasury, which included extensive consultation, indicates strong stakeholder support for the project and its potential to enhance social cohesion, civic pride and neighbourhood development. The Egazini Memorial Precinct budget is estimated at R79.5 million and is intended to cover the costs related to the construction of offices and ablution facility; rehabilitation and heritage trail; conservation; and the interpretation centre.
- Visit to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)
The Committee had an opportunity to visit two SMMEs funded through the assistance of Tourism Enterprise Partnerships (TEP) in East London. TEP is funded by the National Department of Tourism to provide support to emerging tourism enterprises. The first business visited was the Park Place Boutique Guest House operated by Ms Lizelle Maurice. The second enterprise was the Rose Petals Guest House operated by Ms Shirley Ntuli. The purpose of these visits was for the Committee to get first-hand information from the business supported by TEP as part of oversight on SMME development as reported to the Committee by both the NDT and TEP. The Committee interacted with the owners and employees of the two establishments.
- Park Place Boutique Guest House – the Park Place Boutique Guesthouse is a sophisticated, classic Victorian manor in East London. There is a wide choice of rooms catering for every taste. It offers a presidential suite with its own private parking, 4 executive rooms, 5 deluxe rooms, 2 single rooms and 2 garden rooms. Service offerings include in-house dining, executive conference facilities, secure on-site parking, 10 metre lap swimming pool, internet in all rooms, 24 hour reception service; and shuttle service. The guesthouse is currently employing 25 people and it can employ up to 35 employees on busy days.
The guest house has been in operation for just under two years, but has already achieved a third runner up spot in the national Lilizela ETEYA Awards and was the ETEYA provincial winner for the Eastern Cape in 2014.
- Rose Petals Guest House – is located in Vincent-Heights suburb in East London. The Guesthouse has four en-suite double rooms, one twin room and a self-catering unit available. Each room has a comfortable king size bed, DStv, DVD player, air-conditioner, bar fridge, tea / coffee facilities and internet facilities. The guesthouse also offers a full-fledged catering service, shuttle service and conference centre. The medium sized conference venue can accommodate up to 40 people. The venue is equipped with the latest technology audio visual equipment, desks & chairs, and in close proximity to the city centre. The guesthouse is currently employing 3 full-time employees and on busy days, 1 casual employee is called for duty.
Both enterprises are enrolled with TEP and have been assisted in a number of programmes. The enterprises have also benefitted from the support given by the Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency. Both enterprises indicated that they were satisfied with the support provided and appreciated efforts made by TEP and NDT in providing support to SMMEs.
- Committee observations / findings
Having engaged the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency (ECPTA); two Metropolitan Municipalities and smaller municipalities; Social Responsibility Implementation projects beneficiaries; tourism private sector; and tourism SMMEs; the Committee made the following observations:
- Policy, planning and strategic alignment
The province had just launched its Provincial Tourism Master Plan spanning 2014 – 2020. The Masterplan is a comprehensive tourism blueprint of the province which is aligned to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS). The Committee observed that the Eastern Cape Provincial Tourism Master Plan was developed at a time when the NTSS is being reviewed by the National Department of Tourism and this may warrant the province to align their strategy with the reviewed of the NTSS once the process is finalised.
The Committee also observed that the roles and responsibilities between the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency (ECPTA) are not properly aligned and cause confusion to the tourism stakeholders in the province. The roles and responsibilities between the two organisations are also not well communicated to the tourism stakeholders on the ground. The ECPTA is conducting some of the functions which may be well performed by the Department. These are, however bestowed on ECPTA by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency Act (Act No. 2 of 2010). The tourism agency is therefore more concerned with tourism development activities at the expense of marketing the destination both internationally and domestically. This is viewed as a serious anomaly as the main function of the agency should be marketing and research. The Committee acknowledges that the roles and responsibilities have been assigned as such at a policy level. However, there is a need for policy review to align with best practices in the country in terms of how the tourism function is structured at a provincial level.
- Fragmented brand positioning
The Committee observed that branding for the Eastern Cape is fragmented. There are various pay-off-lines such as “Home of the legends”; “The Adventure Province” and “Home of The Big 7” adopted and used by different organisations when marketing the province. These communicate and send different messages to potential tourists, thus confuse the market. The Committee was informed that the provincial branding is driven by the Office of the Premier which favours “The Home of Legends”. However, most of the provincial tourism marketing material bears “The Adventure Province”.
- Non-alignment of marketing efforts
The provincial Destination Marketing Agency. Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan municipality and other smaller municipalities run different and uncoordinated marketing campaigns. There is no coordinated destination marketing strategy at the provincial level. This is evident when attending various marketing platforms and different marketing advertisements placed on different tourism magazines. These duplicate marketing activities in the province and have a potential of confusing the market thus wasting the marketing budgets.
- Loss of market share
The Committee observed and acknowledges that the province of the Eastern Cape is one of the richly endowed tourism destinations in South Africa in terms of its natural and cultural tourism attributes. This presents the province with diverse opportunities for the tourism product mix. However, in regard to international arrivals, the Eastern Cape is sitting at number eight out of nine provinces in the country. This is further compounded by domestic tourism arrival statistics analysis whereby both the Eastern Cape’s market share and actual arrivals are displaying a declining trend, with double digit decreases in arrivals in the recent past. This is also a very poor performance by the province’s own standards having previously competed for market share with provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal.
- Lack of research capacity
The Committee observed that the province does not have tourism research capacity at both provincial and metro/municipal levels. The Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency which is mandated with provincial marketing and the Metros do not have any staff dedicated to conducting research and providing tourism trend analysis. This was observed as a serious shortcoming as the province does not have the institutional capacity to conduct tourism research that should provide invaluable market insights and guide destination marketing and product development gap analysis. The Committee observed that the loss of market share at a strategic marketing level may be attributed to the fact that the province has not had a research insight into their marketing activities. This calls for a change in how the tourism agency in the province conducts its business given the changing global and local tourism trends to assist the province in capitalising on its natural and cultural endowments.
- Budgetary constraints
Given the fiscal constraints at the public sector generally, the Committee observed that the Eastern Cape Government has not allocated reasonable budget for tourism at both provincial and municipal levels. Despite the stipulations in Section 38 of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency Act (Act No. 2 of 2010) to develop a Tourism Development Fund, the province has not made realistic budget available to carry out the tourism mandate as enshrined in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996).
- Improved coordination
The Committee observed that the province had just started with the provincial coordination of tourism activities with the establishment of the Provincial Tourism Forum chaired by the Member of Executive Council responsible for tourism. This is commendable as it is the step in the right direction towards streamlining tourism activities in the province. Some tourism coordinating structures at municipal level were said to be defunct and may present a missing link in the coordination effort. The provincial government is tasked with providing leadership and assisting municipalities in establishing their Local Tourism Organisations. These are critical in the overall coordination of tourism activities in the province as they yield crucial information to be addressed at a provincial level and national level through the MinMec committee chaired by the Minister of Tourism or Miptech committee chaired by the Director-General of Tourism.
- Implementation of the Tourism Programme Budget Structure
The National Department of Tourism and the National Treasury agreed on a Tourism Budget Structure that should be implemented at a provincial level. This puts the tourism function at a Chief Director Level at a provincial level. The Committee noted with concern that the Eastern Cape Province had opted not to implement this budget structure which is meant to streamline the budgets and human resource requirements for tourism at a provincial level.
- Product development
The province does not have strong market intelligence which informs tourism supply requirements. This has resulted in the province having no product development strategy. The Committee noted that all the product development projects presented by the province were either initiated by the National Department of Tourism or by the private sector. The province had no projects initiated and funded through their own funding. This was viewed as a matter of serious concern as the industry is still riddled with lack of transformation and the province could champion community-based-tourism product development.
- Tourism infrastructure
The Committee observed that some tourism support infrastructure in the province was not well maintained. This includes roads and heritage sites. Other issues that were seen as impacting on tourism included cleanliness of the town and maintenance of municipal parks. The issue of the cleanliness of the town was also raised sharply by the private sector in the province.
- SMME Development
The province and local government are involved in a number of tourism SMME development programmes. The Committee also observed that the Tourism Enterprise Partnership programme funded by the National Department of Tourism was effective as the SMMEs visited indicated their satisfaction with the support provided to a point where they have won some provincial and national tourism awards. However, there was a lack of coordination between the SMME programmes provided by the province and those undertaken at a municipal level.
- Staff Competency, efficiency and effectiveness
In the interaction with some tourism officials at a municipal level the committee observed that there are serious competency and efficiency issues with regard to performing expected tourism function. This was seen as a cause for some municipalities failing to fulfil their tourism mandate. Staff members were struggling with simple tasks in their portfolios to assist the local communities on tourism. This included issues such as lack of tourism awareness by locals, knowledge of funding avenues, planning, and coordination of tourism at a municipal level.
- Attacks to tourists and destination image
The Committee noted with concern the continued incidents of attacks on tourists, especially at the beach area of the Buffalo City Municipality (East London). These attacks are not only denting the image of East London, but destination South Africa as a whole. The effort of the municipality to deploy Tourism Ambassadors at the beach is commendable, but a more permanent and effective solution is required.
- Potential for events and Sports Tourism
Eastern Cape is hosting a number of events generally organised by Convention Bureaus of cities. However, there is no fully fledge convention bureau either at a provincial or city level. The province also has no subvention funds to assist with bidding for events. This renders the province unfit and not ready to host some of the events that could improve the tourism figures in the province, in terms of both the arrivals and revenue generation which translate to job creation. The province also does not have a comprehensive events calendar that assists authorities for planning and prospective visitors.
The Committee also observed that the province hosts a number of sporting events and has a potential to grow this sector to even mire greater heights. However, these are mainly the efforts of the private sector with little involvement of local government.
- Need for better planning and internal communication
The Committee acknowledges that municipalities are responsible for planning and zoning at a local level. This includes zoning for different types of land uses. In the same vein, municipalities are responsible for developing Local Economic Development Plans and should be careful about promoting certain land uses to the detriment of others. The Committee warns that tourism is a service industry that is sensitive to other land uses and duty of care should always be exercised when municipalities issue licences for certain projects or businesses. Internal communication should also prevail within the municipality to ensure that all municipal projects are in synch and do not trigger tourism sensitivities. The Committee observed that the fish farm planned for development at the beach in Port Elizabeth is not compatible with tourism and has created consternation in a number of tourism role-players, especially those along the beach.
- Route Development and township tourism
The Committee observed that Eastern Cape has potential for niche tourism development, especially in heritage and cultural tourism. The province is also rich in Xhosa and colonial history. The province can strengthen its heritage through creating a heritage route that will complement the Liberation Route. This should embrace colonial history and township tourism in other areas. The province also boasts a second largest township in South Africa. This presents enormous opportunities for developing sound township tourism that can benefit from the heritage and liberation routes.
- Planning for Social Responsibility Implementation projects
The Committee noted that some SRI projects were implemented without proper planning. These included:
- Master Site Development Plans;
- Project implementation without proper preliminary studies, including Environmental Impact Assessments; and
- Architectural designs approved by the municipality.
- Implementation of Social Responsibility Implementation projects
The Committee noted that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) inherited a number of poorly implemented projects from the erstwhile Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Albeit challenges faced by NDT in these inherited projects, some of them are functional and provide valuable job opportunities to local communities. It was noted that the Department had implemented some of the highly successful and professionally run projects in the province.
- SRI Operation Model
The Committee observed that there were contractual issues between the municipality and a company leasing to operate the project handed over to the municipality by the Department. It was observed that the Department was not playing any role in mitigating the conflict and facilitating an amicable resolution. This happened as the Department regarded the matter as being a contractual issue between the municipality and the private operator. The conflict was seen as having a potential to render the project/ business operational if current issues that had reached a state of litigation were not resolved soon and amicably.
- Cruise tourism development
The Committee observed that cruise tourism is growing in Nelson Mandela Bay with the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria operated by Cunard and Aurora operated by P&O Cruises having dropped Durban from their 2016 cruise itineraries and including calls at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town instead. This indicates that cruise tourism remains an important tourism activity for coastal towns in South Africa, despite the National Department of Tourism (NDT) denouncing its value proposition for the country. The NDT needs to understand all cruise tourism dynamics, including reasons why cruise liners change ports of calls and replace others with new destinations. The NDT has always argued that this tourism niche is not good for South Africa as a destination without conducting a proper study as the process of conducting such a study initiated by the erstwhile Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism was dropped by the NDT. The views of the NDT on Cruise Tourism therefore are considered anecdotal and more practical information based on a scientific study is needed.
Having considered a number of issues and made various observations during the Eastern Cape oversight visit, and based on the submissions by provincial authorities, stakeholder engagements and site visits and the common challenges identified, the Committee makes the following recommendations to the Minister of Tourism and tourism authorities in the province of the Eastern Cape. The Minister of Tourism, in his quarterly MinMec meetings or otherwise, should engage the Member of the Executive Council responsible for tourism in the Eastern Cape Province to facilitate that the Eastern Cape Province:
- Expedites the process of branding the province to facilitate brand positioning at the national and international level. South African Tourism should assist the Eastern Cape to adapt their branding to national brand alignment process.
- Considers reviewing the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency Act (Act No. 2 of 2010) to properly align the tourism functions and responsibilities between the provincial department and the provincial tourism agency.
- Develops a Provincial marketing Strategy that integrates marketing activities amongst all tourism authorities and agencies to package common marketing messages and prevent duplication.
- Creates the research capacity at both provincial and municipal levels. In the short-term, this may be addressed through appointing a tourism research specialist at The Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency to provide capacity at a provincial level.
- Ensures that tourism coordination structures are developed and remain functional at metro, district and municipal levels.
- Reconsiders its decision on the implementation of the Tourism Budget Structure as agreed at a national level.
- Champions product development that promotes transformation in the sector based on market demand analysis.
- Ensures that the local government performs their basic service delivery function for the citizens which is invariably used as tourism infrastructure. The Back to Basics Campaign championed by the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs can go a long way in providing tourism infrastructure at a local level if fully embraced by municipalities.
- Develops an integrated tourism SMME support programme that coordinates provincial and municipal interventions.
- Organises tourism workshops at a provincial level to assist local government tourism employees in performing their tasks and following industry trends and developments at a national level.
- Ensures that safety plan is developed to protect tourists in the beaches of the Eastern Cape. This Plan should involve all tourism stakeholders and law enforcement agencies.
- Develops a fully fledge Provincial Convention Bureau to package and bid for events at the provincial level. Cities must also develop their own convention bureaus to be competitive and attract events. Sports Tourism must also be promoted in the province to leverage on, and grow the existing sporting events, and attract new sporting events to the province.
- Develops a provincial events calendar encapsulating all events in the province to assist prospective patrons and author.
- Champions coordinated planning at a municipal level and continue engaging relevant stakeholders on the planned fish farm project in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and its anticipated unintended consequences to the tourism industry.
- Considers developing a Heritage Route that compliments the Liberation Route.
The Minister of Tourism should make sure that the Department of Tourism:
- Adopts best practices implemented by the successful Social Responsibility Implementation projects and adapt a replication model to resuscitate failing projects wherever possible.
- Ensures that Social Responsibility Implementation projects are implemented after proper planning that encompasses all Master Site Development Plan requirements, including preliminary studies and approvals by local authorities.
- Ensures that properly qualified and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) graded contractors are appointed to implement the infrastructure projects.
- Has a facilitation clause in the handover document between the entity to which the project is handed over as beneficiaries on completion and the private business operators appointed by the beneficiaries to ensure the projects remain operational. The Department should be part of selecting the private operators and serve in the “Board of Directors” for the project at a municipal level.
- Ensures that the National Conventions Bureau advises the Eastern Cape in developing a Provincial Conventions Bureau and works with cities in enhancing their conventions bureaus and assist them in bidding for specific events.
- The Department reconsiders its position on Cruise Tourism for South Africa as a destination as coastal provinces, including Eastern Cape, regard it as an important product mix in their destinations.
The Committee would like to extend the special appreciation to the Office of MEC in the province, the committee of the provincial legislature, although did not attend the apology was extended, Executive Mayors and their representatives, acting Director General of the National Department of Tourism for availing officials for support, Office of the Head of Department, municipal managers, project managers and all officials who provided support throughout the provincial oversight trip.
The oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province provided the Committee with significant insights into various strategic and operational issues in the tourism sector in the province. A number of observations made by the Committee confirmed a number of concerns in the tourism sector at a provincial and municipal level. The Committee made a number of recommendations to both the Minister of Tourism and the Member of the Executive Council responsible for tourism in the province of the Eastern Cape. The Committee urges both these Executive authorities to attend to the recommendations expeditiously.
Whilst the Committee acknowledges a number of challenges raised by various stakeholders, all spheres of government are urged to honour their tourism constitutional obligations as enshrined in schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Most solutions to the challenges raised by the province and municipalities are within the mandate of these spheres of government. A more coordinated approach is needed at a provincial and local level to ensure that the province harness and capitalises on its natural and cultural resources.
The Committee is satisfied that some of the Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI) projects implemented by the National Department of Tourism in the Eastern Cape are operational and have created permanent jobs to the local communities. This is a move towards the direct direction with regard to achieving the benefits of tourism as envisaged in the National Development Plan.
The professionalism displayed by the emerging tourism enterprises indicates that the SMME support initiatives of the Department make the difference in the operations of these enterprises. The Department is therefore urged to provide more such support to the tourism SMMEs to ensure inclusive growth of the tourism sector. The professionalism displayed by the staff at the Steve Biko Centre and the manner in which the Centre is managed is highly commendable. The National Department of Tourism should enter into more such partnerships to ensure value for money for most of the SRI projects.
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