ATC111108: Report Oversight Visits in North West and Gauteng provinces
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TOURISM ON AN OVERSIGHT VISIT TO NORTH WEST AND GAUTENG PROVICES, DATED 8 NOVEMBER 2011
Having undertaken oversight visits in North West and Gauteng provinces, the Portfolio Committee on Tourism reports as follows:
In support of the national effort for development and as part of assessing the state of tourism in the provinces, the committee visited the North West and Gauteng provinces from 25 July to 5 August 2011.
Tourism has been prioritized by the provincial governments as one of the economic sectors that could contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), create employment and mitigate the impact of poverty. This is in line with the current policy imperatives of the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP 2). Sustainable and responsible tourism development has a triple effect in terms of social, economic and environmental benefits.
Unlocking the potential of tourism is dependent on it receiving substantial financial and logistical support from the government, private sector, communities and labour. It is only if such support is demonstrated will tourism be in a position to play its expected role of achieving the competitive edge needed by the economy.
Part of the committee’s mandate is to conduct oversight in an effort to extract optimum benefits for the country from the resources and capacities available to the three spheres of government. Committee felt that it was necessary to undertake a provincial oversight visit to North West and Gauteng this year to assess and evaluate the nature of challenges, prospects for inclusive growth particularly in the rural areas and the extent of government support.
2. NATIONAL PRIORITIES
The committee’s visit was in line with the following national government priorities:
2.1 Inclusive growth that creates decent jobs, promotes sustainable livelihoods with meaningful participation of the historically disadvantaged communities and individuals.
2.2 Involvement of rural communities in tourism growth and development in the mainstream industry.
2.3 Assess the skills development in the industry; and
2.4 Impact of crime and corruption in the industry and response thereto.
3. OBJECTIVES OF THE VISITS
These national priorities inform the committee’s objectives, which are:
3.1 To prioritize the provinces that benefited the least from the tourism industry;
3.2 Alignment and integration of tourism in the three spheres of government;
3.3 Assessing the level of stakeholder participation - both in the public and private sectors - and provincial support;
3.4 An analysis of the contribution of the sector in job creation considering the challenges, opportunities, and prospects thereof;
3.5 Assessing support for cultural and heritage tourism growth;
3.6 Implementation of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and its outputs and outcomes;
3.7 Support for sustainable livelihoods with regard to Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs), co-operatives and individuals; and
3.8 Performance of government institutions that are meant to support the industry and its stakeholders e.g. ESKOM, municipalities, roads department etc.
4. COMPOSITION OF THE DELEGATION
The delegation comprised the following Members:
Table 1: Members of the delegation
African National Congress
Mr. D.M Gumede (Leaders of the delegation);
Ms. X.C Makasi;
Ms. V Bam-Mugwanya
Ms. J.M Maluleke
Mr. L.P Khoarai;
Ms. J.F.T Terblanche
Congress of the People
Ms. M.A Njobe
Mr. Jerry Boltina, Committee Secretary
Ms. Joyce Ntuli, Committee Researcher
Mr. Gunther Mankay, Committee Assistant
5. THE PROCESS
The briefing session conducted in Parliament on 16th March 2010 formed the basis upon which provincial oversight visits were conducted. The national Department of Tourism provided a broad national perspective on the state of tourism in the provinces and the challenges experienced at provincial and municipal levels.
Subsequent to that briefing session of 2010, the committee decided to visit the Northern Cape, Limpopo and North West provinces to conduct oversight work in terms of the objectives outlined above. In 2010, the committee decided not to undertake the visit to the North West province due to the long nature of programmes submitted by provinces and cost implications. It was agreed to visit North West province would be tied to the Gauteng provincial visit in 2011.
In an attempt to obtain a balanced view on the state on tourism in the two provinces, the committee received provincial perspectives on tourism and visited various districts municipalities and attraction sites in North West andGauteng provinces to ascertain their state of tourism and the challenges experienced.
Table 2 below depicts all areas visited. The information is structured according to areas as mentioned to this report.
Table 2: Oversight visit schedule in North West and Gauteng provinces
North West Province
26 July 2011
Bojanalo District Municipality
27 July 2011
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality
28 July 2010
Dr. Ruth Mompati District Municipality
3 August 2011
West Rand District Municipality
4 August 2011
Sedibeng District Municipality
City of Johannesburg Municipality
City of Tshwane Municipality
5 August 2011
City of Ekurhuleni
The process followed during the oversight visits included:
· Briefing sessions held with provincial, district and local municipalities to outline the existing state of tourism, challenges and opportunities.
· Hearings held with tourism industry stakeholders.
· The committee undertook site visits to obtain first-hand experience on prospects, opportunities and challenges encountered by communities.
· Oversight visits were concluded with stakeholder engagement sessions which sought to map out the plan of government as a collective from (local, district, provincial and national) on those issues raised by stakeholders.
6. BRIEFING SESSIONS, STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENTS AND SITE VISITS IN NORTH WEST
The process followed during the oversight visit in North West Province included briefing sessions, stakeholder engagement and site visits.
6.1 Briefing by the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism on the status of tourism in the North West Province
The Department presented an overview of tourism in the province. The presentation highlighted the provincial spatial outlook; status of tourism development in the province; provincial iconic areas; tourism performance indicators; tourism small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and product development; institutional arrangements; geographic spread; and public-private-partnership ( for example Madikwe Development model).
6.2 The Status of Tourism Development
6.2.1 Tourism in the North West was yet to reach its full potential.
6.2.2 There still existed a challenge of allocating adequate resources for the development and growth of the industry.
6.2.3 Product development and diversification of products was critical.
6.2.4 Lack of growth in arrivals and market share made rapid provincial tourism industry development and transformation difficult.
6.2.5 Integrated marketing initiatives of the province and the districts to optimize opportunities.
6.2.5 Integration of rural tourism in mainstream tourism development initiatives.
6.3 The Provincial Iconic Areas
The following were identified as provincial iconic areas:
6.3.1 The Hartebeespoort Dam, Pilansberg National Park and Sun City areas which were located within the Bojanala District and enjoyed most visits and development.
6.3.2 Madikwe Game Reserve – Ngaka Modiri Molema.
6.3.3 Vredefort Dome – Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District.
6.3.4 Taung Skull – Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati which was still under development.
6.4 Provincial Tourism Performance Indicators
6.4.1 The North West province enjoyed an average 8 per cent of total international visits into the country. There had been a downward trend to about 6.7% market share;
6.4.2 About 650 000 international visitors came into the province, mainly as leisure tourists and the source markets were India, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, France, Brazil, the Netherlands, Sweden and Africa.
6.4.3 The tourism industry generated about R1.92 billion in revenue and sustained and supported about 75 000 jobs.
6.4.4 Domestic tourism was driven by VFR due to labour migration and seasonal usage and occupancy rate.
6.5 Tourism SMMEs and Product Development
6.5.1 Given the business portfolio of the tourism industry in the province, tourism SMMEs formed the cornerstone of the industry.
6.5.2 Through collaboration with the National Department and Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) they were assisted with resources and skills. There was however a need to start diversifying tourism products.
6.5.3 There was a need to develop and implement strategies to assist SMMEs based in the rural areas.
6.5.4 Both public and private sectors were required to invest in tourism infrastructure.
6.6 Institutional arrangements
6.6.1 The North West had a dual system. The provincial department and its agency, the North West Parks and Tourism Board were responsible for the promotion of tourism as well as the management of protected areas.
6.6.2 The National Department of Tourism interacted with the province through various forums and established committees.
6.6.3 While collaboration with municipalities has also been strengthened, however, the challenge remained the allocation of resources and capacity at municipal level.
6.6.4 The provincial tourism associations and forums have been established. The challenge was to ensure that the associations functioned optimally and were competitive.
6.7 Geographic spread
6.7.1 Due to its proximity to the Gauteng market and infrastructure, the Bojanala District enjoyed the upper hand in the industry.
6.7.2 The Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District served as a transit area to the Northern Cape and Western Cape due to its economic activities (such as mining, manufacturing and academic) and the fact that it stretched the N12 Treasure Route.
6.7.3 The Ngaka Modiri Molema District (Mafikeng) mainly enjoyed business tourism because it served as the seat of government mainly enjoys business tourism.
6.7.4 The Dr. Ruth Mompati District enjoyed little tourism activity due to its rural nature and despite its proximity to tourism attractions.
6.8 Public – Private – Partnership (Madikwe Development Model)
6.8.1 The Madikwe Game Reserve, the area was characterized by economic inactivity, joblessness and other related social ills. The land was primarily used for unsustainable subsistence cattle ranching.
6.8.2 The Government and the North West Parks and Tourism Board commissioned a study for alternative land use options. Ecotourism was identified as a viable land use option in comparison to subsistence cattle ranching.
6.8.3 The Government invested R15 million to fence the area and also introduce game. The total investment on the ground stood at R500 million.
6.8.4 That resulted in a tripartite alliance between government, private sector and communities. Government managed the park through conservation protocol, while the private sector developed lodges and products and the communities benefited through job creation, bed levies and other initiatives.
6.9 Madikwe Empowerment Initiatives
6.9.1 Madikwe was started by six communities given developmental rights as an empowerment initiative. Two of the six communities took advantage of the offer (that is Thakadu Lodge and Buffalo Ridge).
6.9.2 Nietverdiend and Shupingstadt developments were still outstanding. The reason being that the process was put in abeyance given the challenges of land claims (these were Baphalane ba Sesobe and Barokologadi bag a Maotwe).
6.9.3 Development rights granted to the two claimant communities and other beneficiation opportunities were still under consideration.
6.10 North West provincial tourism sector challenges
6.10.1 The tourism industry was not fully exploited in the province.
6.10.2 There was underdevelopment and little marketing of the existing attraction sites.
6.10.3 Lack of comprehensive and integrated plans for tourism development.
6.10.4 Lack of packaging tourism destinations.
6.10.5 Lack of funding of development initiatives.
6.10.6 Challenges relating to development in communal land by individuals hinder access to finances (key question being how to interact with tribal authorities with regard to collateral).
7. Overview of the key issues emanating from the engagement with tourism industry stakeholders
The following were key issues raised by tourism industry stakeholders in Bojonala, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati Districts Municipalities:
7.1 Ngaka Modira Molema / Bojanala District Municipality
7.1.1 Poor communication from national and provincial government with district and local municipalities with regard to tourism development.
7.1.2 Lack of integrated approach to development.
7.1.3 No support from the Province on the developments of heritage sites.
7.1.4 Provincial tourism Working Group was no longer sitting.
7.1.5 Local Municipalities were not prioritizing tourism, for example there was no budget and staff.
7.1.6 North West Parks marketing strategy focused more on Parks products and little attention was given to SMMEs.
7.1.7 Local and District Municipalities were not taken on board. As a result, projects were being vandalized by communities.
7.1.8 No District infrastructure (access roads to heritage sites), marketing and budget for such products.
7.2 Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality
7.2.1 The District was the second most visited in the province after Bojanala District. The advantage was the N12 Treasure Route which positions the district as the stop-over in transit between Gauteng and Northern Cape provinces.
7.2.2 The district was serviced by a number of primary roads, that was the N12 from Johannesburg to Cape Town, as well as the main road from Gauteng to Mafikeng via Ventersdorp (N14).
7.2.3 The N12 Treasure Route formed the main development axis in the district. It also serves as potential concentration point for industrial, commercial and tourism development.
7.2.4 The tourist icons of the district included the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, High Performance Centre and other sports facilities and historical sites.
7.2.5 In terms of tourism economy, the district accounted for 18% share of the international tourist arrivals to North West province. The district revenue generated was approximately R300 million in 2010. The number of jobs sustained by the industry was approximately 6000.
7.3 Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality
The District Municipality consisted of Naledi, Lekwa-Taemane, Greater Taung, Mamusa and Molopo / Kagisano Local municipalities. It has a range of tourist attraction sites from the Taung Heritage site to Nature Reserves. Tourism products included accommodation and cultural centres. The following challenges were raised as hindering tourism development:
7.3.1 Linkages of tourism products to other economic activities.
7.3.2 Lack of support from other spheres of government and State agencies.
7.3.3 Lack of clear roles and responsibilities of the different spheres of government in the development of tourism.
7.3.4 No funds to establish Local Tourism Desks, and that resulted in a decline in quality service.
7.3.5 Poor infrastructure, infrastructure development and signage impacted on access to tourism products based in rural areas.
7.3.6 Lack of access to funds affected accommodation, conference facilities and tour operators.
8. BRIEFING SESSIONS, STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENTS AND SITE VISITS IN GAUTENG PROVINCE
The process followed during the oversight visit in the Gauteng province included briefing sessions, stakeholder engagements and site visits.
8.1 Overview of provincial tourism by MEC for Economic Development
8.1.1 Gauteng was a province of limitless possibilities and opportunities. With its well-developed infrastructure, thriving industries in various sectors of the economy, the province provides and allows all and sundry to explore, discover and develop.
8.1.2 Since it was a home base to the prestigious tertiary institutions, it innovative and creative capacity places it at the heart of global competitiveness. Hence it was called the heartbeat of South Africa.
8.1.3 Within the tourism industry, there was stiff competition globally for the hosting of prestigious events, meetings and conventions which all brought with them much needed investment and growth.
8.1.4 Domestically the province was always pitched against Durban and Cape Town for attraction of the lucrative market that hosting of meetings and events brought.
8.1.5 Gauteng was host to 21 of the 64 matches during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. It was home to two host cities and three host stadia. It was host to the opening game, hosted two quarter finals matches, one semi-final match and hosted the International Broadcasting Centre.
8.1.6 Gauteng attracted about 223 000 foreign visitors to the province primarily for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, with revenues from established hotels rising nearly 300% during the 2010 Soccer World Cup period. It was estimated World Cup contributed between 0.5% and 1% towards GDP in the year of the World Cup.
8.1.7 Gauteng accounted for about a third of the national GDP, it was estimated that of the R93 billion from the 2010 World Cup, about a third R30.7 billion was generated in Gauteng.
8.1.8 Figures showed that out of the people that visited Gauteng, 478 768 came primarily for other purposes, while 223 039 came primarily for the World Cup. With all the people that came to Gauteng, 88% spent their time on shopping, 87% on nightlife, 81% on attending and watching sports, 34% visiting tourist sites and 20% on social activities.
8.1.9 Following the global economic slump and its effect on tourism, the sector requires constant positioning in order to remain relevant and important. The province might not have the sea or the mountain, but Gauteng was unique in many ways. The challenge lay in making certain that the province remained relevant and that visitors chose to stay longer in Gauteng.
8.1.10 It was incumbent upon all South Africans to work against crime and to ensure that all tourists were treated well, from the time they landed in the country.
8.2 Briefing by Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA)
8.2.1 Gauteng is the smallest of the 9 provinces in South Africa and is composed of 5 regions (Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng, West Rand, Tshwane and Johannesburg).
8.2.2 The province accounted for an average of 45% of all foreign arrivals to South Africa. It is the fastest growing provincial destination – which was generally higher than national average.
8.2.3 The province attracted in excess of 70% of African arrivals. Southern Africa’s air travel hub and O.R Tambo International Airport services average 13 million passengers per annum.
8.2.4 Gauteng province was the 2nd most popular domestic tourist destination and number 1 domestic source market. The province accounted for an average of 30% of Total Foreign Direct Spend and bed nights.
8.2.5 The tourism sector contributed an average of 5% to the provincial economy.
8.3 Tourism Grading Council for Gauteng Province
8.3.1 The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s (TGCSA) strategic outcome was to implement a recognizable, credible and globally bench-marked system of quality assurance for accommodation and MESE experiences which could be relied upon by visitors when making their choice of establishment.
8.3.2 TGCSA developed six strategies to deliver the outcome. The grading system was meant to ensure that South Africa needed to know how friendly tourism accommodation facilities were to people living with disabilities or impairments.
8.3.3 The fundamental principle was to ensure that accommodation was appropriate and fit for purpose given the size of the establishment, the STAR grading level applied for, the profile of its clients as well as the location of the establishment.
8.3.4 In terms of the national product database, it was reported that the total tourism products listed were 61 000, accommodation products were 13 000 and the total graded accommodation products were 5 932.
9. Overview of key issues that emanated from tourism industry stakeholders
The section describes key issues raised by tourism industry stakeholders in West Rand, Sedibeng, Johannesburg (Soweto), Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
9.1 West Rand District Municipality (Cradle of Humankind and World Heritage Site)
9.1.1 The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (COH WHS) is a geospatial tourism project in Gauteng. It covers an area of 52 000 hectares in the North West of Gauteng, with 10% extending into North West Province.
9.1.2 The Gauteng provincial government had invested over R250 million in roads and bulk of infrastructure in the two destinations (including Dinokeng project) in order to leverage private sector investment in tourism business activity contributing to job creation and poverty alleviation.
9.1.3 The World Heritage Site is an international and national offering, one of unique scientific significance and had the potential to enhance the profile of South Africa and Africa.
9.1.4 The Site tells the story of ancient history and human beginnings and is a place of adventure and discovery.
9.1.5 It is one of 800 World Heritage Sites, an area of outstanding palaeo-anthropological value. Fossils that had been found in the area and in the serially sites of Makapans Valley and Taung provided strong evidence that humankind had its origins in Africa.
9.1.6 In 2002 during World Summit on Sustainable Development, President Mbeki and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan visited the site and left a foot imprint and a message of commitment to safeguard the site for the future of humankind. It was envisaged that all Heads of State visiting the country would visit the site and leave a foot imprint and a message of commitment.
9.1.7 The management of the site was concerned about implications of inappropriate development, such that, there was already considerable ecological impact as a result of inappropriate development, including results from water quality tracer studies.
9.1.8 The site management was of the view that unless stringent and urgent measures were taken for the protection of the site from further undesirable development, the site would lose its appeal as a pristine tourism destination.
9.1.9 That would have implications for the money which both the state and the private sector had already invested in the site as well as implications for expectations relating to economic sustainable growth in the area.
9.1.10 Local authorities were involved in the process of developing environmental management framework which would act as a framework for informing and assisting in approving development applications. The Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development and MEC for Economic Development would be the signatories to the Environmental Management Framework (EMF).
9.1.11 There were more sites beyond the worked ones which had the potential to yield major discoveries and therefore protection of the site through ensuring popular cultural ownership of the site was crucial. Human settlement placed a pressure on the waste water treatment and sewerage works and that created risks of contamination to the ground water and therefore ecosystem of the Karst. The critical challenge was to find a balance between allowing development and protecting the site.
9.2 Sedibeng District Municipality
The District Municipality had identified tourism as one of the key areas for economic development, poverty alleviation and job creation. The municipality raised the following challenges:
9.2.1 The roles and responsibilities of district and local still needed to be clarified.
9.2.2 Environmental issues, for example water quality affected tourism.
9.2.3 Maintenance of tourism attraction sites.
9.2.4 Quality of tourism products and offerings.
9.2.5 Start up funding for tourism products owners.
9.2.6 Insufficient tourism infrastructure, such as, roads, signage, parking and ablution facilities.
9.2.7 Lack of skills development.
9.3 City of Johannesburg (Soweto)
The small businesses of Soweto appreciated the support provided by the provincial government however the following key challenges were raised:
9.3.1 There was a need for more support and assistance of small tourism organization.
9.3.2 Some B&Bs are accommodated students from the University of Johannesburg and electricity outages caused a challenge.
9.3.3 SMMEs required additional training in order to provide professional services to customers.
9.3.4 Experiencing reluctance from government officials to utilize SMMEs.
9.3.5 Illegal guiding by other tour operators.
9.3.6 The presence of the Gautrain was yet to have an impact on the residents of Alexandra.
9.4 City of Tshwane (Pretoria)
Tshwane Tourism Company (which represented all seven regions of the City) was set to deal with the following challenges for the 2011/12 financial year:
9.4.1 To take branding initiative to the next level and finalise an integrated tourism branding strategy, which should be rolled out at all levels.
9.4.2 To expose frontline staff at every touch point in the tourism value chain to service excellence training.
9.4.3 To extend the database of events in the City and ensure a timely and comprehensive events calendar that was widely communicated.
9.4.4 To maintain and update accommodation study, undertake market research to determine profiles, experiences and experiences of visitors, conduct resource base analysis to understand nature and extent of tourism products and experiences.
9.4.5 To create excitement, ownership and involvement in tourism. All citizens should be brand ambassadors for the city.
9.4.6 To coordinate, collaborate and communicate with stakeholders who facilitated the enabling environment for tourism.
9.4.7 To obtain City of Tshwane seed funding via a service level agreement and finalise membership structure and citizens tourism levy.
9.5 City of Ekurhuleni (East Rand)
Key issues raised by tourism stakeholders through associations were that:
9.5.1 The grading system by Grading Council was expensive and did not offer any marketing benefits.
9.5.2 Potholes – very often the repairs were not done properly as pot holes re-appeared within few months. That resulted in a situation where guests had to drive through holes to get to the establishment. Pot holes pose risks, damage and injury.
9.5.3 Street Lamps – faulty street lamps pose a challenge to report and it similarly took the municipality some time before lamps were eventually repaired. As a result, foreign guests did not feel comfortable to return to the guest house in the evening when street lamps were not working.
9.5.4 Power failures – power outages caused numerous and extensive problems. Power failures tended to be experienced in the afternoons of (often on Fridays) from around 16:00 and some times until in the evenings (20:00). This was normally the same time that guests arrived. Often the dinner would have to be served by candle light, and unhappy guests did not come back.
9.5.5 Refuse removal – running a guesthouse meant to have more food and other waste than a normal household. As soon as municipal workers went on strike SMMEs felt it immediately. That become unhygienic and was in breach of health regulations.
9.5.6 Red tape at municipal council – approvals from municipal council took extremely long and that the red tape slowed the process tremendously. For example, the rezoning of properties and the application for directional signage were challenges.
9.5.7 Liquor licenses for small business or relaxation for graded guest houses with regards to liquor licenses.
9.5.8 Tourism Levy – guest houses wanted to pay, but also wanted to receive benefit from the fee payment.
10. SITE VISITS
The committee visited the following sites:
10.1 The Taung Child Skull Fossils World Heritage Site
The Taung Skull was one of the iconic tourist attraction sites, situated in old Norlim / Buxton lime quarries. The committee was informed that the place is where “Africa’s first gift to the study of man’s origin” was excavated in 1924.
10.2 Taung Dam
The Taung Dam was regarded as a “reservoir of life” in the province. The committee was told that the area was once a residential place for the people of Kolong and Dikgageng. The dam was popular for activities such as canoeing, fishing and other water sport.
10.3 Ratlou Guesthouse
The guesthouse was established in 2007 and is situated in Taung on the route to the Taung District Hospital. It is 100 percent Black owned and has 6 permanent staff and 1 casual worker. The establishment has 8 rooms and a conference facility that could accommodate up to 30 people with other facilities.
10.4 The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
The site had been developed as a Gauteng provincial government initiative. There had been considerable investment in roads and bulk infrastructure and in the official visitor centre. The investment had created the conditions for massive growth in private sector investment in tourism attractions which are located along the scenic routes.
SECTION B: ANALYTICAL REPORT
North West Province
Although mining is the cornerstone of the province’s development, it important to note that other sectors play a pivotal role in the growth and sustainability of the North West economy. At a glance, the Province is undated with the potential for tourism growth and development. There are plans, and drafted strategies to ensure that this potential is realised however; yet not much progress in the implementation of these plans. The Province is very rich in natural heritage and it ranges from the Magaliesburg Mountain range, the meteorite crash site (Vredefort Dome) and the Taung Heritage Site to name a few. The Province has indeed identified key areas of intervention in growing this sector; however the are a number of challenges that have become impediments to the development of the sector in the Province and they are as follows:
· Lack of infrastructure;
· Capacity , expanded mandate and budgetary constraints in the Province;
· Lack of capacity and resources in the local sphere of Government;
· Non-alignment of training with industry needs;
· Lack of support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).
The lack of infrastructure in the Province negatively affects the influx of tourists in the Province. The conditions of roads that lead to major attractions such as the Taung heritage site are in an unacceptable state the N12 is beyond repair and there is a need for the reconstruction of this road. This particular road is utilised as a transit road between the Northern Cape and the North West and if refurbished it will be an alternative road that is highly beneficial to the Dr Ruth Region. With the rebuilding of the Taung heritage site and the envisaged project of building chalets around the Dam in Taung this area has a huge potential and this could benefit the small business in that particular area.
This observation is also applicable with the Madikwe community project where leading roads to the establishment are in an unacceptable condition. The other infrastructural project is the issue of air transport. Tourists are expected to drive long hours to the Province to view certain attractions, and with a number of competitive products in other provinces tourists normal take a more attractive and accessible product. For example if a tourist was interested in viewing a site where there is proof of evolution of human beings to mammals, in assessing all the pros and cons the Maropeng would be the best alternative.
The alignment of training needs remains a challenge in the sector; this is a worrying trend, as the industry cannot absorb the people trained by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s). In order for training initiatives to be productive there is a need for the Department to take an active role in identifying areas that need to be supported and subsequently engage the industry on the type of training opportunities that will be helpful to the industry. An implementation of feedback mechanisms that will ensure that skills produced match industry requirements will go a long way in saving funds as well as ensuring service excellence in the sector.
The lack of alignment between the three spheres of government is a big challenge; many municipalities have no presence of tourism officers within the Local Economic Development (LED) division and this makes it difficult for tourism to be included in the Integrated Development Plans (IDP’s). At the same time, most of the municipalities are rural in their location and this makes it difficult for them to have tourism as a priority over the provision of basic services. These municipalities’ do not collect rates and taxes and majority of the revenue is from government. This oversight and lack of capacity ultimately impedes on tourism growth and development in affected regions; with only few municipalities having presence of tourism officers. There is a need for the three spheres to forge unity for the development of tourism in the Province. At the same time, the fostering of relations between the North West Parks and Tourism Board (further referred as the agency) and the Department will improve process and information flow.
In as much as the Province is struggling with ensuring that there is geographic spread in terms of tourism product offering, some of the Districts have gone a long way in forging Public Private Community partnerships and the Madikwe game reserve is one of the successes of these forged partnerships. The National sphere of Government in the form of the Department of Environmental Affairs in collaboration with the National Department of tourism has also assisted a great deal in ensuring that the is protection and upgrading of the Taung heritage site to allow easy tourist access.
There is growing support for emerging entrepreneurs in the Province, through awards such as the ETEYA (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award). The role played by the ETEYA is highly commendable and it builds a culture of competitiveness that will see service excellence in the sector being the order of the day. The exposure that comes with winning of these awards is motivating to many emerging entrepreneurs.
The Province finds itself at an advantageous position in terms of location and world class infrastructure availability; travelling distances in and around the Province are manageable as compared to other provinces where travelling distances can be as high as 700km. the above mentioned perks do not mean that Gauteng Province must not work hard at marketing the Province to visitors, however it means that the tools to ensure maximum participation in the sector are at the |Provinces disposal and if well managed they can bear positive results for the sector.
In as much as the province’s tools are attractive and can be used to benefit the Province it is not everyone that has benefited positively, this is evident in the closure of some of the prominent accommodation facilities in the city of Johannesburg. The Province has generally advance in terms of tourism figures; however there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order for the Province to become the tourism hub in the country. The challenges are as follows:
· Confusion of roles between local and district municipalities;
· Lack of funding for SME’s and support for SME organisations;
· Non-alignment of training with industry needs;
· Shortage of electricity;
· Transport operating permits.
Provision of Clarity in the confusion of roles in terms of tourism development especially in the Sedibeng region is the first step in ensuring growth and development of the sector as well as taking advantage of the positive attributes the region has and in the process expand tourism contribution to the regions fiscals.
The of attraction sites in Gauteng are of an acceptable standard, however in the Sedibeng region drainage was a major issue that needs a speedy intervention since it impedes on further development of the Vaal area. The Vaal dam is also a harbouring tourism growth opportunities that need to be well developed and marketed for people of the area to positively benefit. The stakeholders in the Province have gone a step further and outlined the importance of first aid training of business operators and that this should be a requirement in tourism businesses; this is a great contribution to the industry. Although first aid training is a prerequisite for tourist guides, there is a need to align the term of the course with the first aid certificates.
There is a lag in cooperative governance between the three spheres of government, which has also proven to be a bottleneck on the growth of tourism in the Gauteng. Addressing corrupt practices and backlogs in relation to transport permits will assist the dearly in the sectors development, cause this restricts tour operators from operating legally with some resorting to illegal operations. The establishment of the intergovernmental relations framework is the first step taken by the Province to address issues of cooperative governance. This will allow the three spheres of government to work in partnership in improving the lines of communication among municipalities, provinces and the National Department of Tourism.
The different regions have identified products that will need vigorous marketing and consistency to work and amongst these products there are township tourism which should not only be limited to Soweto but should be spread to places like Thembisa, Kagiso, Merafong and Mohlakeng to name a few; and the other being the aerotropolis of the Ekurhuleni municipality. The failure of local government to provide support to small business operators is a course for concern as it derails progress in terms of sector development. On transformational issues, the “Adopt a guesthouse” concept had received popularity to an extent that new areas such as Taverns and tour guides will be considered for tryouts.
11 FINDINGS / OBSERVATIONS
The Committee made the following observations that:
11.1 The issues raised during the hearings by tourism industry stakeholders revolved around poor governance systems. Some of the issues included lack of accountability by relevant authorities; there was weak communication between local, district, province and the stakeholders on matters of development in the province.
11.2 At another level, the North West is a vastly spread province and comprised of rural areas mainly. As a result, limited financial resources of municipalities were not able to fund all the services required by stakeholders.
11.3 There was a growing interest in natural heritage and opportunities to experience high-quality natural environments that have been identified as an important factor of competitiveness in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Provinces had different competitive advantages as their attractiveness as tourism destination was based on their natural (scenic beauty, wilderness landscape and diverse wildlife), culture and heritage resources base and were therefore positioned to cater for that interest.
11.4 Provinces experienced a gradual growth in tourist numbers over last years, while, Gauteng was positioned as the most visited province in South Africa though there was still a need for improvement.
11.5 Hunting in North West was seen as a contributor to the number of tourist visits, length of stay and tourist spend. Historically, hunting had not been seen and as a tourism sector and therefore its contribution was not seen was not included into the economic calculations determining growth. However, hunting’s contribution was determined and should be acknowledged within the context of North West and therefore be integrated within the tourism growth strategy.
11.6 Private sector and government invested in tourism infrastructure projects that enhanced the implementation of Tourism growth strategy. Tourism products were developed and / or upgraded through private sector and government initiates enhancing the tourism clusters.
11.7 The establishment of routes and basic infrastructure in rural areas still needed to be expanded and / or upgraded to ensure that tourists could safely travel to the remote corners of provinces. The flow of tourists into rural areas would not only enhance Provinces unique product offerings but would contribute to the growth of economic opportunities in these areas.
11.8 North West was known for offering business tourism through conferences and events, organized sport tourism that had also been identified as one of the national tourism focus areas and the establishment of an effective tourism information and event management office.
11.9 A major intervention and opportunity for tourism lies within the transport sector. That included rail, air and road transport as the Gauteng province had showcased. An intervention strategy to increase the linking routes to other provinces and visa versa would enhance the tourism strategy.
11.10 It had been acknowledged that the communication between government and tourism industry was not at a desired level.
11.11 It had been known that to grow tourism, interactive liaison and cooperation between all role players was required. The streamlining of communication channels and the establishment of partnerships between government, the private sector and communities therefore needed to be increased.
11.12 The lack of implementing an integrated spatial and land use development plan on provincial level had led to various ad hoc developments that were in direct conflict with another land use. That directly impacted on tourism planning and needed to be put on the agenda as an issue that needed intervention on provincial and local government level.
11.13 Some Tour Guides were not registered, and that was posing a challenge to the tourism sector because such guides could not be easily traced. However, the National Department of Tourism indicated that the issue would be addressed in the new Tourism Bill.
Based on the stakeholder engagements, submissions by provincial authorities and site visits, the committee recommends as follows in relation to the common challenges identified:
12.1 Institutional arrangements: The implementation of the Tourism Growth Strategies requires substantial institutional support. Tourism should be institutionalized at local government level.
12.2 Tourism and Local Government: Local government does not have legislative and or regulatory powers pertaining to tourism, but local tourism is a local authority function. Local authorities are important contributors to the success of tourism activities in terms of community driven tourism philosophy. Their efforts should be coordinated within the provincial tourism strategy.
12.3 Re-evaluation of Tourism Budgets: The successful implementation of the tourism growth strategy requires substantial financial resources. The current national and provincial tourism budgets are extremely limited and are not able to allow for the successful implementation of the tourism strategy. Innovative models will have to be found to supplement the current budget.
12.4 Marketing and promotion: The committee found that using the limited marketing or no budget allocated for tourism posed various challenges to enable the provinces to optimize on the opportunities on offer. Also, districts should plan to better promote their competitive advantages, thereby building an appealing tourism image and establish a distinguished brand name in the tourism market.
12.5 Increase synergies among all stakeholders and public private partnerships (PPPs): Efforts should be made by the Districts to improve PPP structures for medium and long term actions, and re-assess the competitive advantages, development of tourism products and services and the joint marketing and promotional activities.
12.6 Unresolved Land Reform Claims processes: The prolonged land reform processes, linked to inadequate after care programmes in the wildlife and tourism business sector hampers investment opportunities in tourism.
12.7 Lack of adequate integrated land use planning: At provincial level resulted into uncoordinated development that directly impacts on provincial tourism icons and therefore on tourism growth.
12.8 Signage: Poor road infrastructure and proper signage impacts on the access to tourism products based in rural areas.
12.9 Skills Development: The government should focus on building current skills sets, while channeling education so that future skills sets can be used effectively to support the economy and tourism. Provinces should be able to foresee skills needs and work with the SETAs and FET colleges to meet skills needs.
12.10 Support SMMEs and Cooperatives financially and non-financially: SMMEs located in the provinces should be better able to contribute to and benefit from sustained economic growth by becoming profitable, competitive and create more and better employment opportunities. Government should support and facilitate market access and entry into value chain by small business and cooperatives and reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
12.11 Provincial and Local Government capacity: The improvement of provincial and local government capacity to plan for and maintain infrastructure to ensure continued efficient delivery of economic and social services.
12.12 Innovation and technology: Provinces should assist districts with the introduction of innovative products and creative services combined with the harnessed use of ICT as a crucial component of the medium and long term plans for marketing destinations.
The Committee would like to extend the special appreciation to the MECs responsible for tourism in the provinces, committees of the provincial legislatures, provincial Heads of Departments, Districts Mayors, municipal managers, project managers and the rest of the officials who provided support throughout the provincial oversight visit.
The importance of intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance is becoming very clear for the growth of tourism in the country. There is a need for the Tourism National Strategy to be filtered down to municipal level in order to promote growth in the tourism sector. In as much as the Department has been instrumental in developing world class strategies and guidelines to promote tourism in the country; these strategies have not been implemented and if implemented in it is not in their entirety. In essence alignment of the three spheres remains a challenge.
The geographic spread of tourism remains a major challenge especially in Townships and rural areas and successful growth in this area has an ability to translate positively towards transformation figures in the sector. In the same vein, it is important to engender a culture of innovation and that can only come about if space is created for an integrated approach involving feedback from the municipalities and other stakeholders.
Education and training remains a critical element for the development and growth of tourism in the two provinces. Although the current state of affairs in the two provinces is not completely satisfactory, there is a huge potential for the two provinces to advance in the tourism sector. However, for this to happen, there is a need for the tourism budget allocations in the provinces to be increased to allow for this potential to be unlocked. This will significantly increase the contribution of tourism to job creation and sustainable livelihoods, as part of the key national priorities of Government.
Report to be considered.
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