ATC131017: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on oversight visit to Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, Dated 17 October 2013
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on oversight visit to Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, Dated 17 October 2013
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism, having undertaken oversight visits to the Free State Province on 22-26 July 2013 and to KwaZulu-Natal Province on 30 July – 2 August 2013, reports as follows:
The oversight visits were part of an ongoing implementation of the Committee programme which started in 2010. At a workshop co-hosted by the National Department of Tourism and the Committee on 16 March 2010, the Department reported that it was experiencing challenges in the Provinces with regards to intergovernmental linkages in the tourism sector. The Department further stated that part of the challenge was the nature of the tourism mandate as Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution identify tourism as a concurrent function. The three spheres of government have a responsibility to perform the tourism function and this requires serious coordination. The Committee acknowledges that the capacity of local government to deliver on the tourism mandate presents a challenge to the growth and development of the tourism sector and therefore a close oversight in terms of how tourism is planned, developed and marketed in the country was necessary.
High on the list of challenges within the tourism sector was the fragmentation of tourism planning across the three spheres of government, inadequate database of the supply side, with associated lack of reliable market information and poor integration of tourism with other sectoral policies. Coupled with this is fragmentation of tourism marketing endeavors by various state organs and private sector. Stakeholder relations in the tourism industry is also another serious challenge and coordination across sectors is critical.
The Committee took a decision in 2009 to visit all nine Provinces in order to assess the state of the provincial tourism. Since the beginning of the Committee programme in 2010, the Provinces were clustered as follows:
· 2010 – Limpopo and Northern Cape
· 2011 – Gauteng and North West
· 2012 – Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga
· 2013 – Free State and KwaZulu-Natal; and the Western Cape is outstanding and likely to be visited in September / October 2013.
Tourism is identified in the New Growth Path as one of the six priority economic sectors to fulfill government’s imperative to create sustainable jobs and ensure that the developmental agenda of the state is addressed in all economic sectors, particularly in rural areas. Tourism is a sector that has potential to create job opportunities as it is a labour intensive industry. Currently, the tourism industry surpasses mining and automotive sectors in terms of contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and is responsible for one in every eleven jobs in South Africa.
The National Development Plan aims to increase the industry's contribution to the job creation to 225 000 by 2020. The National Tourism Sector Strategy also projects an increase in the industry's contribution to the economy from R189 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020. The tourism industry is therefore an important sector in South Africa in term of job creation and economic growth. The industry takes into cognisance the five key priorities for government set by the current administration, including creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods. These priorities have been converted into government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework which highlights priorities and outcomes over the MTEF period. The Committee therefore monitors the contribution of the tourism sector to the creation of employment opportunities through inclusive growth.
The tourism industry thrives on partnerships and collaboration amongst different stakeholders, including synergy amongst the three spheres of government. Collaboration amongst all the role players is therefore very important. Over the years, until 2009 when tourism was assigned its stand alone National Department of Tourism, the sector has been undermined despite its potential to contribute to the reduction of unemployment in the country. Financial resources allocated to tourism were also minimal. Unlocking the full potential of tourism is dependent on the sector receiving substantial financial and logistical support from the government, private sector, communities and the labour sector. 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 and actualizing its maximum impact.
The Committee is mandated 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 in terms of tourism growth. The Committee undertook a provincial oversight visits to Free State and KwaZulu-Natal in 2013 to assess achievements of the sector and evaluate the nature of challenges, prospects for inclusive growth particularly in rural areas, and the extent of government intervention and support at all levels. The Western Cape visit was postponed due to changes in the parliamentary programme. The Western Cape visit was planned to be undertaken in September 2013 if the parliamentary programme allowed it.
3. National priorities
The oversight visits to the two provinces were premised on the five national priorities relevant to the developmental agenda of the state in relation to the tourism sector. With regard to the national priorities, the Committee identified the following:
3.1 There was lack of inclusive growth that creates jobs and promotes sustainable livelihoods whilst meaningful participation of the historically disadvantaged communities and individuals was still questionable.
3.2 The two provinces were involved in tourism capacity building programmes that were meant to strengthen skills development and human resource base in the tourism industry. Tourism skills audit had been conducted to assess the skills development in the industry as a response thereto.
3.3 The tourism industry was addressing the health issues through providing universally accessible accommodation facilities that catered for the needs of disabled tourists. However, a lot of work still needed to be done in that regard.
3.4 There was involvement of rural communities in tourism growth and development in the mainstream industry. This was done through the tourism infrastructure projects developed for communities through the Social Responsibility Implementation programme which forms part of the Expanded Public Works Programme.
3.5 There was intensification of the fight against crime and corruption in terms of governance of national and provincial departments responsible for tourism and strict financial controls in terms of the Social Responsibility Implementation projects was being undertaken.
4. Objectives of the visits
The fundamental objectives of the visits were:
4.1 Assessing the Alignment and integration of tourism in the three spheres of government;
4.2 Assessing the level of stakeholder participation - both in the public and private sectors - and provincial government support;
4.3 Assessing the alignment of product development in line with the five key national priorities;
4.4 Evaluating the contribution of the sector in job creation, with a focus on challenges, opportunities and prospects thereto;
4.5 Evaluating/Assessing Implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and its outputs and outcomes;
4.6 Assessing support for sustainable livelihoods, particularly for people involved with Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
The delegation comprised the following members:
African National Congress
Mr. D.M Gumede, MP (Leader of the delegation)
Ms. Bam-Mugwanya, MP
Mr. F. Bhengu, MP
Ms. J.M Maluleke, MP
Mr. L.P Khoarai, MP
Ms. J. Manganye, MP
Mr. S. Farrow, MP
Mr. R. Shah, MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
Ms. C.N Zikalala, MP
Mr. Jerry Boltina, Committee Secretary
Dr. Sibusiso Khuzwayo, Content Advisor
Ms. Joyce Ntuli, Committee Researcher
Mr. Kholisile Lobi, Committee Assistant
6. Oversight schedule and process
To obtain a fair and balanced view on the state of tourism in the two provinces, the Committee invited the Legislatures and provincial departments to receive perspectives on tourism plans and various visited in Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. This was done to ascertain the state of tourism, prospects, achievements and challenges experienced in the tourism industry in each of the two provinces.
6.1 Oversight visit schedule in Free State Province
Table 1: oversight schedule in Free State
22 July 2013
23 July 2013
24 July 2013
25 July 2013
Maloti A Phofung
26 July 2013
6.2 Oversight visit schedule in KwaZulu-Natal Province
Table 2: oversight schedule in KZN
30 July 2013
Jozini & Mtubatuba
31 July 2013
1 August 2013
2 August 2013
6.3 The oversight process and approach
The Committee process followed during the visits included:
(i) Briefing sessions held with provincial departments, district and local municipalities to outline the existing state of tourism, challenges and opportunities.
(ii) Hearings held with tourism sector stakeholders.
(iii) Site visits undertaken to obtain first-hand experience for the Committee on prospects, opportunities and challenges by both provincial governments and the communities; and
(iv) Visits were concluded with stakeholder engagement sessions which sought to provide a collective way forward from (local, district, provincial and national) on the issues raised by stakeholders.
The report is divided into four sections. Section one focuses on the Free State where tourism projects proposed in the oversight included visits to the Thabo Mofutsanyane area. The visit commenced in Mangaung at the Naval Hill project proceeded via Thaba Nchu and Ladybrand to Qwa Qwa, and ended in Animal Welfare Project, the Lions rock. Section two focuses on KwaZulu-Natal where projects visited included Muzi Pan Canoeing, Nselweni Bush Camp and Lilani Hot Springs. Section three provides integrated observations of the Committee. Section four covers conclusion and recommendations that may be considered in the short, medium and long term.
Section One – Free State Province
7. Briefing session, stakeholder engagements and site visits
The process followed during the oversight visit in Free State included the following:
7.1 Presentation by the Provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DETEA) and Mangaung Metro
7.1.1 The Head of Department indicated that there was a good working relationship and collaboration with the National Department of Tourism, including implementation of the Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) projects.
7.1.2 The province served in all the national working groups and the province had aligned its Provincial Tourism Master Plan (PTMP) with the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS).
7.1.3 The Mangaung Metro indicated that there was a lack of proper coordination between the province and the Metro and there was a need for joint programme planning and implementation to ensure alignment.
7.1.4 The province had conducted a Tourism Skills Audit 2012/13 financial year. DETEA partnered with CATHSSETA to implement a number of skills development programmes from 2011 to 2014, including Customer Service Development Programme; SMME Professional Cookery project; and the National Tourism Careers Expo
7.1.5 Issues of rezoning for tourism were being addressed by Mangaung Metro and a Development Planning Forum had been established but needed participation of both DETEA and the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs departments.
7.2 The Naval Hill Planetarium Project
7.2.1 The Naval Hill Planetarium is a project implemented by the Department of Science and Technology with a huge potential for tourism spin-offs in the area.
7.2.2 The project entailed upgrading of the old Lamont-Hussey Observatory also known as Sterrewag Theatre on Naval Hill as an the first digital planetarium in Sub-Saharan Africa.
7.2.3 The initiative profiles Mangaung as an Astro-Tourism destination covering educational exposure to natural sciences through digital visitation of planets.
7.2.4 The Mangaung Metro provided land, the DETEA provides tourism support of the projects, the University of Free State provides operational management of the planetarium and the Department of Science and Technology provided technological support. US University
7.3 Oliewenhuis Art Gallery - Bloemfontein
7.3.1 Oliewenhuis Art Museum holds in trust a historical and contemporary art collection on behalf of the people of South Africa.
7.3.2 The project is aimed at enriching the people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of cultural heritage, reflect full diversity of the struggle, provide a cultural and educational resource, ncourage involvement in the visual arts and to nurture a culturally diverse but shared identity.
7.3.3 Oliewenhuis, a Neo-Dutch style mansion, was designed by William Mollison in 1935 and completed in 1941. This mansion served as a residence for the Governor General of the Union of South Africa from 1942.
7.3.4 On 19 July 1985, the building was released to the National Museum for the purpose of converting it into an Art Museum. Several structural alterations and adjustments had to be made to the existing building to provide a suitable environment for conservation and exhibition of art works.
7.3.5 On 11 October 1989, Oliewenhuis Art Museum was officially opened as a satellite of the National Museum. The Museum boasts up-to-date technology to store and exhibit artworks in ideal climatic and secure conditions.
7.4 National Heritage Monument – The “Long March to Freedom”
7.4.1 The Long March to Freedom is a borrowed exhibition of the National Heritage Monument (NHM) depicting procession of some 400 life-size bronze figures representing important individuals from all eras and epochs of South Africa’s diverse history.
7.4.2 All the individuals depicted, in some way led or contributed to a struggle for freedom, democracy, human rights and self-determination.
7.4.3 During phase one of the project 27 bronze figures were commissioned from South Africa Artists all over the country.
7.4.4 The life size bronze statues are currently displayed at the gardens of the museum.
7.4.5 Phase one and the new work commissioned in 2013 will eventually become part of the main focus and spine of the development: a procession of 400 life-size bronze figures of specific individuals depicting all eras and epochs of South Africa’s history in the ‘Long March to Freedom’.
7.4.6 The NHM is revisionist in structure; it is defined by the intention to create a substantial sculptural narrative that engages the complexities of South African history; it will generate national pride and search for and address the absent voices that were substantive in the shaping of the South Africa of today.
7.4.7 The National Heritage Monument will ultimately become a “must-see’ local, national and international attraction. Going forward it is envisaged that funding for the development of the project as a whole will come from both the public and private sector.
7.4.8 The long-term establishment of the National Heritage Monument will have permanent and positive economic benefits for the South African Heritage and Tourism sector.
7.5 Barolong Boo Seleka Cultural Village (Thaba Nchu)
7.5.1 The Barolong Boo Seleka is a Social Responsibility Project funded by the National Department of Tourism.
7.5.2 The project consisted of Phase 1 and 2, and phase 1 was meant to develop a Cultural Village which consisted of Cultural Museum; arts and craft market; traditional restaurant; and amphitheatre.
7.5.3 Phase 2 was to upgrade 1 kilometre gravel access road; construction of sewer network; water reticulation; construction of 8 modern chalets; construction of a laundry; and installation of electricity connection in the new building.
7.5.4 The Committee was informed that the project status was at 75 percent completion, and in total 1 109 short term jobs were created both for phase 1 and 2. Also 14 labourers were trained in Tourism Awareness and Business Training.
7.5.5 The National Department of Tourism invested for Phase 1 of the project R14.250 million and the project is managed by Lasedi Development Trust.
The Committee expressed the following concerns with regard to the project:
(i) The project was started in 2000 and Phase 1 was completed in 2006 and is not yet operational.
(ii) The project implementer had pulled out and the project was on hold without informing beneficiaries, and there is a need for more information from the National Department of Tourism.
(iii) The architectural designs and spacing of building pointed to poor planning, and a large hall has been constructed on project site by the Department of Public Works without strategic link to the project..
(iv) The Prov ince expressed a view that some of these projects failed because they were implemented from national levell. There was a need to decentralise the office to the provinces to stimulate entrepreneurship.
(v) The buildings constructed under phase one are deteriorating due to inactivity and neglect.
(vi) Mangaung Metro indicated that given a chance to participate in these processes, the Metro has some ideas on what can be done about the project going forward and to resuscitate it.
7.6 Lekhalong La Mantsopa Tourism Project – Ladybrand
7.6.1 The Lekhalong La Mantsopa project is a Social Responsibility Implementation Project situated in Modderpoort about 15 kilometres from Ladybrand.
7.6.2 The municipality through its integrated Development Plan identified Lekhalong La Mantsopa as a strategic project with the intention to achieve the tourism attraction for tourists and pilgrims; and the area to be declared a possible National Heritage Site.
7.6.3 As a result, the municipality then applied for funding from the National Department of Tourism for the upgrading of Lekhalong La Mantsopa.
7.6.4 Phase 1 of the project was allocated an amount of R15 million for rehabilitation of cave church; fountain; and grave site; construction of parking base and re-gravelling of access road between various strategic points and erection of Mantsopa Memorial Stone and her monument.
7.6.5 The project is managed by Mukumba Resource and Project Management.
The Committee found that:
(i) There was no value for money when comparing the little work done on the ground and amount of money already spent on the project.
(ii) The project was incomplete and on hold without any reasons given by the National Department of Tourism; and no detailed costs were made available by the project Implementer.
(iii) The Project Manager indicated that the project has a short fall of R2.5 million which is needed to complete the project.
(iv) The project implementer complained about the interference of local politics that resulted to strike by beneficiaries;
(v) The beneficiaries were generally dissatisfied with the implementer.
(vi) In the meeting with the municipality, the Committee noted the Vuna Award bestowed to the municipality which meant that Ladybrand Municipality was trying its best in terms of governance.
7.7 Kubetswana Arts and Craft Gallery - Clarens
7.7.1 Kubetswana Arts and Craft Gallery is one of the Social Responsibility Implementation projects that were dysfunctional.
7.7.2 The project was burnt down by communities and the buildings lay in complete ruins.
7.7.3 Allegations of political abuse of power, self interest and usage of the project for the activities that were not originally intended were given to the Committee.
7.7.4 A comprehensive report is required from the municipality, National Department of tourism and the Project Implementer.
7.7.5 A criminal investigation into the matter was underway. A report on the findings must be communicated to the parliamentary Committee.
7.8 Meeting with tourism stakeholders in Clarens
The interaction between the Committee and the stakeholders in the area agreed that:
7.8.1 The Speaker of the municipality in Clarens attended the stakeholder meeting as an ordinary member of the community and this created confusion as the nature of the meeting compelled him to play a dual role shifting from being a public office bearer to an ordinary community member. There was therefore a need for strong political leadership to drive tourism development in the municipality.
7.8.2 There was a need for strong leadership at the municipality to deal with pressing issues such as rezoning and by-laws.
7.8.3 There was a need to intensify planning, communication and coordination amongst tourism stakeholders as there was poor structures of communications between the municipality and the community.
7.8.4 There was an urgent need to fill all vacant posts in the municipality as there was no municipal official responsible for tourism which created a vacuum in dispensing tourism function and servicing tourism stakeholders by the municipality.
7.8.5 There was a need for cooperation and integration of tourism businesses in the area in a form a one Tourism Forum. There was a need for the Municipality to interact with the Province and National government to get assistance in formalising tourism coordinating structures.
7.8.6 A group of women expressed a need for manufacturing fly fishing equipment and were promised a school hall which could be used for promotion of Arts and Craft.
7.8.7 The Committee required a full report from the municipality and the National Department of Tourism on why Kubetswana Arts and Craft gallery was destroyed and progress on the case of arson opened with the police.
7.9 Dinosaur Interpretation Centre - Golden Gate Highlands National Park
7.9.1 The Golden Gate National Park houses a site for the Dinosaur Interpretation Centre which is a Social Responsibility Implementation Project.
7.9.2 The Proclamation was gazetted 13 September 1963 for farms Glen Reenen, Wodehouse and Melsetter were proclaimed as National Park with a size of 1 792 hectares. The proclamation set aside for the preservation of the mountain catchment area and its unique rock formations, as stated then.
7.9.3 In 1981, Noord Brabant was proclaimed and added to the park a new size of 6 241 hectares.
7.9.4 Between 988-1989 there was an addition and proclamation of another eight farms, extending the park’s boundaries to border Qwa Qwa National Park and Lesotho, with the present size of 11 630 hectares.
7.9.5 In 1994, fences between Qwa Qwa National Park and Golden Gate Highlands National Park were dropped – to enable wildlife to move freely between the two parks.
7.9.6 Geology – very visual textbook examples of Southern Africa’s geological history, with the most spectacular Clarens sandtone formations that dates back to 195 – 210 million years ago.
7.9.7 Important contributions with regards to the Dinosaur era that dates back to the 200-230 million years ago, especially the oldest fossil eggs, with foetal skeletons of the upper Triassic age.
7.9.8 Maluti-Drankensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area – SANParks is one of the four SA Implementing Agents and Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of the protected areas in the project domain, and as such contributes and influences to ensure the success of the Treaty at the highest level.
7.9.9 Qwa Qwa / Golden Gate amalgamation process was completed. There is one management plan for this already integrated ecosystem. Fences between the two protected areas were dropped in 1993.
7.9.10 The 32 690 hectares large current park is (inclusive of the Qwa Qwa section) which includes five grassland vegetation types, with the Eastern Free State Sandy Grassland and Drakensberg considered endangered and vulnerable, given the high levels of transformation.
7.9.11 The expansion of the park to its 89 000 hectares desired state would see the addition of a further endangered Eastern Free State Clay Grassland vegetation type and additions to the above endangered Eastern Free State Grasslands vegetation type.
7.9.12 The original budget for Phase 1 is R14.250 million and the actual expenditure to date is R1.6 million and the expenditure by the Implementer is amounts to R1.5 million.
7.9.13 The project has a huge tourism potential for the Free State and the feasibility study and planning has been completed
7.9.14 The Committee viewed this project as an exceptional opportunity to be listed as a World Heritage Site and to create a global interest through the establishment the interpretation centre.
7.10 Basotho Cultural Village
7.10.1 The Basotho Cultural Village was visited to see the authentic Sotho Culture tourism experience offered to tourists.
7.10.2 The project is in the heart of the Qwa Qwa Nature Park which has been incorporated into the world-renowned Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
7.10.3 The Village takes the visitor for a walk down the pathway of time and demonstrates the lifestyle and architecture of the South Sotho from the sixteenth century to the present.
7.10.4 The huts are built and furnished according to the time frame depicted by each structure. The interior and exterior decoration of huts is done by the Basotho women.
7.10.5 The Art Gallery boasts work of local artists and a permanent photographic exhibition of the building process of the village and art in the Eastern Free State. The curio shop offers a wide variety of Basotho arts and crafts.
7.10.6 The interest of the visitor is won over by the majesty of the surrounding landscape and by the spiritual ethos of the Basotho people.
7.11 Qwa-Qwa Guest House
7.11.1 Qwa Qwa Guesthouse is a Social Responsibility Implementation project.
7.11.2 The planned infrastructure development was supposed incorporate the construction of the gate; 32 bed chalets; conference facility; access road; staff accommodation; paving and landscaping of pathways in the guest house; and the installation of furniture.
7.11.3 The beneficiaries were supposed to be a group of Women in the Phuthaditjhaba area.
7.11.4 The original budget injected by the National Department of Tourism was R17.3 million .
7.11.5 The project implementer Nombo Property and Project Management who had since disappeared from the construction site leaving the project incomplete.
The Committee found that:
(i) The project was started in 1996 but was still incomplete.
(ii) The project was conceptualised by a group of women who wanted to establish a guest house in the interest of tourism development in the area.
(iii) Qwa Qwa Development Council had assisted the local community package a project proposal for funding.
(iv) The Deputy Minister for the Department of Tourism had visited the project in September 2012 and promised beneficiaries that she was adopting the project. Nothing had been done to fulfil that promise and neither the beneficiaries nor the Committee understood what was meant by “adopting” the project.
(v) The project was linked to Local Economic Development plans of the area and the municipality had approved the project and the Business Plan.
(vi) In 2005, the project received funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the municipality promised to come on board to assist as the project needed to have 160 beneficiaries from all over the municipality.
(vii) The beneficiaries alleged that Executive Mayor wanted to pioneer the project himself and had frustrated the process to a point where the project was put on hold.
(viii) There was no close monitoring of the project implementer and there were allegations of project material theft by the project implanter themselves.
(ix) The work done is not worth the R17 million allocated to the project.
(x) At a time of the visit the project was incomplete and had been put on hold without any communication to the beneficiaries by the National Department of Tourism.
The Committee resolved to:
(i) Engage the National Department of Tourism and further communicate with the beneficiaries a detailed report on the status of the project.
(ii) Further engage the municipality and the provincial Department to intervene in assisting the beneficiaries by ensuring that the project was resuscitated and completed.
7.12 Qwa Qwa Sentinel Peak Car Park and Access Road
7.12.1 The project is a Social Responsibility Project that involves the construction of car park and access road on the Sentinel peak. The Peak is the highest point on the Mount Aux-source in the Drakensberg mountain range.
7.12.2 This is frequented tourist attraction in the area and the infrastructure development included the construction of additional 2.3 kilometres of the road.
7.12.3 The beneficiaries are the Batlokwa Tribal Local Community in Tsheseng and the project is managed by Henting 2715 (ty) Limited as the Implementing Agency.
7.12.4 The National Department of Tourism allocated R7.125 million to the project.
7.12.5 There were beneficiaries on site and the Committee was satisfied with the progress made on the project
7.13 Accommodation Facilities at Metsi Matso – Qwa Qwa
7.13.1 The Metsi Matso dam is a Social Responsibility project along the dam previously known as Swart dam which currently provides portable water to Maloti A Phofung and is used by local community for fishing and supply of drinking water to livestock.
7.13.2 The project included the construction of accommodation facilities with Hotel, self catering, overnight accommodation and restaurant, clearing site for work and earthworks, construction of sewerage system; delivery of water to site, drilling of boreholes.
7.13.3 The beneficiaries are Batlokwa Tribal Council in Tsheseng.
7.13.4 The project is managed by River Ranger Management, Section 21 which is designated as a Project Implementer.
7.13.5 The budget allocated to the project by National Department of Tourism is R23.750 million
The Committee found that:
(i) The project was progressing well and the establishments will be graded as a 4 star facility.
(ii) Road construct will cost R2.3 million
(iii) About 131 beneficiaries were employed in the project and working on site.
(iv) The project was started by one project Implementer who did not finish the project, provided poor workmanship, and a new implementer was on site and they had to redo some of the work to bring the project into an acceptable state.
(v) There was no water and electricity on site and this was a major concern as this was general challenge prevalent in the whole town, not just on project site only, with adverse effects on the sustainability of the project.
(vi) The project implementer was going to advertise for the project operator on completion of construction
(vii) Details of extra costs needs to be explained by the National Department of Tourism.
7.14 Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge – Qwa Qwa
7.14.1 Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge is a Social Responsibility project that will provide accommodation in the Drakensberg for hikers, climbers, adventure travellers and families on completion.
7.14.2 The Lodge is located at the base of the Drakensberg Sentinel Peak and is the highest in the Northern Drakensberg.
7.14.3 The beneficiaries of the project are the Batlokwa Tribal Council Community in Tsheseng.
7.14.4 The Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge is managed by Hentiq 2715 (Pty) Limited as the Implementer of the Project.
7.14.5 The original budget allocated by the National Department of Tourism is R19 million.
Committee found that:
(i) There was good management and progress made on the project.
7.15 Lion’s Rock Lodge - Bethlehem
7.15.1 The Committee visited a project operated by Four Paws which is an international animal welfare organisation founded in Australia in 1988 with a vision to see a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.
7.15.2 The vision is achieved through targeted project work and various campaigns that ensure quick and direct assistance to animals in need.
7.15.3 Due to culmination of factors such as laws regulating threatened or protected species such as lions, and the plight of big cats in zoos and circuses worldwide, Four Paws commenced its first project in South Africa, Lionsrock on 1 February 2007.
7.15.4 The Lions Rock offers visitors the unique opportunity to observe big cats in their natural surroundings.
Section Two – KwaZulu-Natal Province
8. Briefing sessions, stakeholder engagements and site visits
The process followed during the oversight visit in KwaZulu-Natal included the following:
8.1 Presentation by the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism - Overview
8.1.1 The province indicated that regional airports play a critical role in facilitating convenient access to a destination in terms of trade and tourism.
8.1.2 King Shaka International Airport offers direct international flights between Dubai and Durban – serviced by Emirates Airlines. The airport enables KZN to connect with Africa which is deemed as an important emerging market for the country and the Province through the recently launched international routes between Durban - Zambia and Durban - Zimbabwe.
8.1.3 With South Africa being regarded as a long-haul destination, the King Shaka International Airport comes as a welcome development to provide convenient access to Durban as the main gateway to the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. King Shaka International Airport is part of the Dube Trade Port.
8.1.4 The Province is serviced by no fewer than five regional airports - Oribi airport, Margate airport, Richards Bay, Ulundi and Newcastle airport amongst others. These are very strategic to the Province in facilitating regional integration and connecting with the rest of the country and facilitating the movement of visitors from one point to another. These regional airports are also essential for medical rescue emergency services.
8.1.5 The Provincial Department developed the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Master Plan (KZNTMP) which was adopted by the Provincial Cabinet in 2012. The Plan is a strategic guiding document pointing to the future direction in the development and growth of tourism in the Province.
8.1.6 The Plan also responds to directly to the National Tourism Sector Strategy in terms of alignment between the two spheres of government.
8.1.7 In aligning with the National Development Plan, the Master Plan has a 2030 Vision with set and specific targets and objectives which amongst others include increasing the tourism GDP levels, increase of tourism employment in the province and ensuring growth in levels of foreign and domestic visitor arrivals to the province.
8.1.8 In the main, there are four strategic clusters which are the primary focus of the Master Plan and these seek to address all aspects relating to tourism. As part of its deliverables, the Master Plan identifies the development of iconic projects with the aim to increase the competitive edge of the province thus making it the preferred destination by both domestic and international visitors.
8.1.9 The KZN Tourism Master Plan identifies Catalytic projects which are:
· Drakensberg Cable Car
· King Shaka Statue
· New International Convention Centre
· Bluff bridge
· Beach Resort
· Insandlwana Development Precinct
Some of the challenges that have been identified in relation to tourism in the Province were as follows:
· Lack of funding to implement tourism projects and programmes.
· Low levels of private sector investment in tourism.
· Limited and lack of understanding of tourism within municipalities hinders effectiveness and collaboration of structures.
· Inadequate capacity and budgeting to fully perform tourism functions.
· Lack of tourism prioritization in some municipalities hinders the tourism growth potential.
· Sustainability of community based projects due to infighting at a community level.
· The economic recession had negative impacts in the industry – resulting to decline or stagnation in visitor numbers from European traditional markets.
· Poor road infrastructure connecting tourist attractions particularly the Rural attraction.
8.2 Presentation by UMkhanyakude District Municipality
8.2.1 The Municipality reported that since 1996 there had been notable improvement in access to potable water within the District. Households without access to water was standing at 38 percent or 244 545 members of the community.
8.2.2 There had been remarkable decline in households with no access to sanitation from 63 percent in 1996 to 24 percent in 2011.
8.2.3 Access to ventilated pit latrines have increased from 25 percent in 2001 to 47 percent of the households in 2011 which is not going to change soon as most parts of the District are rural and do not have a water borne sewerage systems.
8.2.4 In terms of employment, in 1996 unemployment rate was estimated to be at 53.9 percent. In 2011, unemployment decreased to 42.8 percent.
8.2.5 With regards to education, the percentage of individuals with no school had declined from about 20 percent in 1996 to 12 percent in 2011. More still needed to be done in order to improve the percentage of individuals with higher learning qualifications as it still remains at an unacceptable low percentage of 2 percent.
8.2.6 Projects located in the District that would have spin-offs to tourism were:
· Muzi Pan Tourism Adventure and Lodge
· Mkuze Regional Airport Development
· Sontuli Tourism and Environmental Kids Camp
· Hlathikhulu Campsite
· Tourism Graduate, Ambassadors Programme and Tourism Safety Monitors
· Mbazwana Tourism Information Centre
· Tourism Shows and Exhibitions
· Development of Tourism Promotional Materials
8.3 Public Private Partnership within Jozini Local Municipality
Mr Sikhumbuzo Zondo briefed the Committee on the Jozini Tiger Lodge as follows:
8.3.1 The Jozini Tiger Lodge is built on the Jozini Dam, close to the dam wall. The Lodge is located in the Jozini Local Municipality, within the UMkhanyakude District Municipality. This is a partnership between the community represented by a Trust, and Private Sector, which is responsible for the day to day management of the Lodge.
8.3.2 The Jozini Tiger Lodge is built on a land that is owned by the Ingonyama Trust. The lodge has been on the location of the previous hotel. The site was identified by business people who then approached the community and the local municipality to develop the Jozini Tiger Lodge. This included expanding the accommodation service in the area and creating employment opportunities and long term investment opportunities.
8.3.3 The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) was approached for co-funding of the project and the institution invested a sum of R28 million in the four star establishment.
8.3.4 Prior to Jozini Tiger Lodge, the area had a number of unregistered B&Bs and in its first year of operation from March 2010 to February 2011, the Lodge recorded 17 321 guests. Demand for accommodation and other services is on increase. The lodge now works with and refers overflow business to other properties across the lake.
8.3.5 The terms of investment by the NEF were that a large number of employees of the Lodge had to be locals. The Lodge is managed by the Three Cities Hotel and currently employs a total of seventy nine staff, of which eighty percent are from the Jozini community. Myeni community owns thirty one percent, of the Jozini Tiger Lodge through a community trust and Private Investors own sixty nine percent.
8.3.6 All key stakeholders are hands on, have a keen interest in the long term growth and sustainability of the lodge.
The Partnership was explained as follows:
- Private investors – came up with the concept plus project plan and provided seed plus venture capital.
- Community – made land available for development.
- National Empowerment Fund - funded the community interest and provided initial working capital to the project; and
- Municipality – provided services and necessary approvals.
- There was a common vision amongst all stakeholders.
Challenges facing the project
- Poor access road condition.
- Poor levels of domestic tourism.
- Provision of private Health care, schooling and vocational facilities in the area
- Availability of shopping mall and restaurants.
8.4 Muzi Pan Canoeing Project
8.4.1 Muzi Pan Canoeing is a Social Responsibility Implementation project funded by the National Department of Tourism with R10 million budget was allocation.
8.4.2 The proposed Phase 2 of the project is the completion of phase 1 that was incomplete and entails building and creation of new accommodation units and communal infrastructure, pathways, and docking facilities for canoes.
8.4.3 In 2012, Sigma International, a KwaZulu-Natal based company, was appointed as a project implementer.
8.4.4 Originally the budget was meant to be shared between Muzi Pan and Polongola Canoeing projects (as well as to be jointly managed). However, an internal motivation was done in the Department with the assistance of the implementer showing the impact on sustainability as well and the non-practicality of joining the projects.
8.4.5 Subsequently, in May 2012 the Department agreed to allocate the entire R10 million to the Muzi Pan project. To date a Project Advisory Committee has been set up and it is the intention of the project to complete a sustainability plan that is approved by all stakeholders, prior to the finalising of planning.
8.4.6 The project is owned by KwaJobe Community Trust which represents the community and is the envisaged owning agent of the project. It is envisaged that the project will employ about 75 locals during the implementation.
8.4.7 Isimangaliso World Heritage Site will be important for sustaining the project as they will need referrals for added benefit and sustainability.
Challenges facing the project:
· Delay in transfer of land for project development.
· Community lacks resources, knowledge and skills for operational management of the project.
· Limited bulk services at the site including water and electricity.
· The present infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance.
8.5 Dukuduku (Khula Village) Tourism stakeholder meeting
The stakeholder meeting raised the following issues:
8.5.1 The area is important because it is closer to Isimangaliso World Heritage Site but the Province is not fully exploiting this tourism potential.
8.5.2 There was poor access to funding for tourism development initiatives from Development Finance Institutions such as Ithala Development Bank.
8.5.3 There was underdevelopment and little marketing of the existing attraction sites and establishments owned by local communities were not supported.
8.5.4 There was a need for tourism awareness programmes to sensitise communities about the tourism industry
8.5.5 Tour guides in the area provided services for local established tourism establishments and they felt they were not properly remunerated as there was no standard salary set by government for Tourist Guides.
8.5.6 There was a need for the establishment of one Tourism Information Office in the area.
8.5.7 Registered Tourist Guides raised a complain that they were law abiding businesses and had to renew their licences all the time but there were illegal unregistered Tourist Guides operating in the area and nothing was done to them enforce compliance with legislation..
8.5.8 There was a need for training and capacity building programmes for emerging tourism enterprises and tourist guides.
8.5.9 There was usage of natural resources by local entrepreneurs to manufacture tourist souvenirs an there was a need for support by government in assisting local nurseries to propagate indigenous trees to replace those harvested by wood carvers to ensure sustainability.
8.5.10 There was a need for signage indicating major attractions in the areas such as Isimangaliso World Heritage Site.
8.5.11 When Isimangaliso was declared as a World Heritage the community had been promised tourism opportunities and favoured tourism over mining but there were no tangible benefits accruing to the community.
8.5.12 There was incorrect marketing strategy as the area was not properly marketed with a number of information centres in the area that needed to be rationalised.
8.6 Nselweni Bush Lodge – Community Owned Eco-Tourism Facility
8.6.1 Nselweni Bush Lodge is a community partnership model project implemented by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
8.6.2 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is a provincial agency mandated to carry out biodiversity conservation and associated activities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
8.6.3 The primary focus of the organization is biodiversity conservation and the entity manages 114 protected areas including 2 World Heritage Sites which are UKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site.
8.6.4 Secondary within the mandate is the development and promotion of eco-tourism facilities within protected areas.
8.6.5 Mandate of Ezemvelo can be summarised in three words, conservation, eco-tourism and partnerships. From an Eco-tourism perspective the aim is to position Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife as a key player in the tourism industry for the benefit of local communities.
8.6.6 Ezemvelo understands the importance of partnerships with various stakeholders in order to deliver on its mandate whilst creating value that benefit people.
8.6.7 The organisation engaged with the local community to establish a visitor facility at the existing Enselweni site within the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. The funding for this project was derived from two sources, namely Department of Environmental Affairs funding of R4.2 million and from the communities own funding via the community levy fund of R3 million. This gave a total of R7.2 million.
8.6.8 Ezemvelo manages the complete facility on behalf of the community for an agreed management fee. All profits from this project would accrue back to the community via community levy fund.
8.6.9 The site selected for development was an existing developed site and was ideal as a tranquil destination that offers quality experiences.
8.6.10 All staff (12) was recruited from the community and Ezemvelo assisted with the training.
8.6.11 In terms of Business arrangement the Community Lodge is operated by EKZNW on behalf of the community via a management agreement. EKZNW is paid a management fee for all the services provided.
8.6.12 All financials and visitor statistics are tabled on monthly basis at the Senior Management Committee meeting. All other additional activities that were not covered within the operational plan were to be covered by the Trust.
Committee found that:
· The Community Participation Model followed by EKZN was an effective model that could be replicated in other projects.
· The model was a true empowerment model that promoted community participation
· The project promoted true transformation in terms of ownership
8.7 Stakeholder Meeting at Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport
8.7.1 The airport was visited as one of the regional airports that promote air linkages and accessibility in the province.
8.7.2 The Airport is currently operated by the Zululand District Municipality. It is located in Ulundi on the P700 road running from Ulundi to Richards Bay via the Imfolozi Game Reserve. It will eventually link by tar Ulundi and Richards Bay.
8.7.3 The Zululand Tourism Hub which has been completed included a restaurant facility, ablutions, Zululand Tourism Offices and several additional offices will form a key leg in this major project.
8.7.4 The need to have a proper tourism facility in Zululand and the need for office inside the airport building called for a Tourism Hub to be developed. This project had just been completed and occupation was expected shortly.
8.7.5 The project was jointly funded by provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as a special initiative for Zululand District Municipality at a cost of R14 million.
Challenges facing the area:
· The key challenge facing this project is the 10 kilometres stretch of the R66 road between Uphongolo and Nongoma. The condition of this road has caused many tour operators to eliminate Zululand from their itineraries.
· The short untarred 3 kilometre road at the entrance of Umgungundlovu Interpretation Centre from the R34 is a challenge to tourists coming to the centre.
· There are many cultural events such as the Royal Reed Dance and Mona Market which have not been developed to tourism events.
8.8 Lilani Hot Springs
8.8.1 Lilani Hot Springs is one of the Social Responsibility projects funded by the National Department of Tourism.
8.8.2 In the late 1990s the Department of Economic Development and Tourism through KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority received funding from the Poverty Alleviation fund from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for the development of Lilani Hot Springs.
8.8.3 Lilani Hot Springs lies in the deep rural area between Greytown and Kranskop, and falls within UMzinyathi District Municipality under Umvoti Local Municipality.
8.8.4 The springs have been used by the local community for many years ago and believe the water has a healing property for ailments. The water has been channelled into pools in which one can fell the warm spring water.
8.8.5 With further investment from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Lilani has grown into an attraction site.
8.8.6 The National Department of Tourism has also approved and amount of R20 million for the implementation of Phase 2 of the project.
8.8.7 The project has a rich history with Queen Victoria having visited the area at some point.
8.8.8 There are other attributes of the area that could be converted into tourist such the Avitourism as the area is well endowed with different types of birds and adventure tourism as the area has a waterfall nearby.
Challenges facing the project
· There has been poor support of the project from the local and district municipalities. UMzinyathi District Municipality made an undertaking that they were going to improve support of the project and were going to attend all the meetings of the Project Advisory Committee.
· There is lack of supporting infrastructure such as portable water and sewerage disposal.
· A 10 km access road to the project is gravel and prevents other tourists from reaching this attraction.
· The project is not functioning to its full capacity and more operational support for the project in term of the Management Company is needed.
· There was lack of marketing strategy which ought to consider the association of Queen Victoria with the site.
Section Three – Integrated Committee Observations
9. Committee Observations
The Committee observed a number of issues in both provinces. These observations are expressed hereunder and they form basis of the recommendations made in this report.
9.1 Planning and alignment with national plans
The Portfolio Committee observed that there was poor tourism planning in the Free State. The province indicated that they had developed a Tourism Master Plan; however municipalities were not aware of such a plan as they were never consulted during the development of the document. Nevertheless, the province still needs to put more effort in establishing sound working relationships with municipalities, including the Mangaung Metro to ensure seamless planning and implementation of tourism activities at a provincial level. It was noticed that there were poor tourism coordinating structures that coordinate tourism issues between the province and municipalities. Tourism marketing endeavours in the Free State province were also poorly uncoordinated. There was lack of synergy between the province and municipalities, especially Mangaung Metro when attending major tourism marketing platforms such as the annual Indaba held in Durban during May.
With regards to KwaZulu-Natal, it was observed that the province had functional tourism coordinating structures at a provincial and municipal level. The Portfolio Committee noted that the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Coordinating Structures Model was recommended for adoption at a national level by the Local Government Tourism Conference convened by the NDT in February 2013 to facilitate a common coordinating model across provinces which might assist with improving intergovernmental relation with regard to tourism.
The Committee discovered that both provinces had aligned their provincial tourism plans with the National Tourism Sector Strategy and the National Development Plan. It was discovered that both provinces had a good working relationship with the National Department of Tourism, and the provinces served in all the national working groups that align tourism activities at a national level with other tourism stakeholders including the private sector, institutions of higher learning and sector departments.
9.2 Skills development
The challenge facing the tourism industry is the lack of skills both at a public and private sector level. It was noted that the two provinces had prioritised tourism as they have fully fledged tourism departments linked to their Departments of Economic Development with the Free State at a directorate level and KwaZulu-Natal at a chief directorate level. However, it was noted with concern that both provinces did not have a full staff complement. An undertaking was made by both provinces that the vacant posts will be filled in the near future. The Committee was satisfied that both provinces were attending to staffing the provincial departments with capable individuals who will be able to take the tourism agenda forward.
Both provinces had conducted tourism skills audits to ascertain the shortage and relevance of skills in the private sector. The audits had indicated that there was a shortage of relevant skills in the hospitality industry and that most tourism graduates possessed skills that were not relevant to the industry and that when these graduates are employed; need to be re-skilled with work specific skills. It was however noted that both provinces had embarked on tourism service excellence workshops to empower employees with requisite skills.
9.3 Poor project management
The area of serious concern identified by the Portfolio Committee was in regard to Social Responsibility Implementation Programme. It was observed that there was serious lack of project management ability in the projects implemented in both provinces. Some issues raised by beneficiaries in most projects, which were also witnessed by the Portfolio Committee on the ground, included:
9.3.1 Conceptualisation of projects
It was observed that most projects had been poorly conceptualised in the planning phases. There was a glaring lack of Master Site Development Plans as positioning of buildings in some projects such as Barolong Baseleka Cultural Village was haphazard with no form and structure. It was also noticed that the architectural designs of some buildings were not proper for the purposes they were intended. It was also apparent that there was no much attention paid to the selection of sites of some of the projects were located off the beaten track for tourists and it was going to be difficult to market.
9.3.2 Business Plans
A sound and bankable business plan is a cornerstone for implementing successful tourism projects. The challenge identified with most community projects is that business plans for Social Responsibility Implementation projects did not adequately consider the business dynamics pertinent to the tourism industry. The tourism industry is sensitive to issues of supply, demand and marketing. The location of tourism facilities is also critical and can make or break the tourism enterprise. The business plans for SRI projects were not been based on sound market analysis and financial projections. Deliverables in the business plans were geared towards achieving most labour intensive full-time-equivalent jobs and neglected the business aspects.
9.3.3 Funding Model
It was noted that the funding model used for SRI projects may inherently be causing some of the observed challenges in implementing the programme. The following issues are as areas for consideration:
22.214.171.124 Advance payments
The SRI funding is administered at a national level with a centralised funding mechanism. In practice, appointment implementing agents are given advance payments. The challenge experienced with most projects is that companies are paid for services they have not rendered and some of them fail to meet their deliverables as stipulated in business plans or they do substandard work with poor workmanship. Beneficiaries are always victims of poorly constructed and non-operational facilities. The feasibility of appointing implementing agents with a financial muscle to be paid after completion of deliverables needs to be explored against an upfront payment to avoid paying for inferior work.
126.96.36.199 Number and phasing of projects
A number of projects funded at a particular point within an available budget might be one of the pertinent causal factors for non completion of projects. The availability of EPWP funds determines the number and amount by which projects could be funded, thus phasing of projects into multi-year projects by the National Department of Tourism. It was noted when interacting with a KwaZulu-Natal based NDT project manager that the NDT had also adopted a strategy of prolonging the length of implementing projects to at least a minimum of two years to cater for a number of full-time-equivalent jobs that could be created per project.
188.8.131.52 Sustainability of funded projects.
It was noted that there were no sustainability plans for some of the projects. In other cases, such as the Metsi Matso Dam project, the project implementer who was responsible for the construction of the project was also the one responsible for advertising for the project implementer. This was seen as a conflict of interest as the implementer had indicated to the Committee that he had the expertise to operate the project once it was completed and also knew some people he was involved with who could operate the project. The better option will be for the operational model to be part of the business plan to eliminate projects that remain idle after completion and avoid conflict of interest.
184.108.40.206 Appointment of Implementing Agents
It was noted n most cases, project implementers did not come from the same area or province where the projects were implemented. This had caused serious accountability issues as these implementing agents had sometimes disappeared without informing the communities and could not be traced.
220.127.116.11 Poor workmanship and value for money
There was glaring poor workmanship in most of the projects. In other cases new project implementers had to dismantle old structures and foundations for buildings as those were not properly constructed. In other standing buildings there was serious concern about value for money as structures on the ground did not justify the amount spend in constructing them.
18.104.22.168 Community Trusts
The community governance structures are crucial to the success of community-based tourism projects. Chief amongst these are Community Trusts appointed by the traditional councils. In most communities, Community Trusts that deal with Social Responsibility Implementation projects did not have capacity to deal with project management issues on behalf of traditional councils. It was observed that some of the projects had poorly constituted and dysfunctional trusts. These trusts therefore could not provide oversight work to project implementation on behalf of the community. These Trusts are only reduced to rubber stamping decisions taken at Project Advisory Committee meetings without asserting their voice as community representatives.
Projects implementers are accountable to the National Department of Tourism. Challenges encountered with projects are communicated to the Department with communities updated at Project Advisory Committee meetings. However, an observation was made that most projects had been put on hold by the Department, either because they were not funded for phase two or some forensic audit had been instated for those projects. Communities alleged they were never informed about lack of funding and forensic auditing for projects; project implementation was just terminated without any communication and this left communities in limbo.
In some instances such as with the Kubetswana Arts and Craft Gallery in Clarens, community projects have been burnt down by communities as there had been poor communication between the Department and project beneficiaries. Beneficiaries had raised issues of unhappiness about how the project was being used contrary to its initial purpose but there had been no interventions from the Department. Some beneficiaries manipulated poor communication channels and used projects for their own individual benefits
9.4 Job creation
The Social Responsibility Implementation projects are Expanded Public Works Programme implementation projects for the National Department of Tourism. The major thrust is to create full-time equivalent jobs. However, it was concerning that most projects visited were put on hold and there were not jobs generated for beneficiaries at that time. Only two projects, Metsi Matso Dam and Witsieshoek Mountain Hotel had some workers on site. The nature of tourism projects is such that there will be full time jobs in each project in addition to temporary jobs created during construction phase. The many projects which lie incomplete in both provinces meant that there were no full time jobs created in these projects.
9.5 Budgeting for Tourism
The Committee observed provinces had not budgeted adequately for tourism. in the Free State all the projects visited were funded by the National Department of Tourism. There was no funding for projects either from the provincial government or the local government. In KwaZulu-Natal the province had provided funding for some of the projects but this was not adequate given the tourism mandate. Most of community projects are implemented through the Social Responsibility Implementation programme and this raised a concern as provinces and municipalities have a tourism mandate bequeath to them by Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution
9.6 Political and traditional leadership interference
The Portfolio Committee also observed that in some projects, such as Kubetswana Arts and Craft Gallery in Clarens and Qwa Qwa Guesthouse in Phuthaditjhaba, some form of political interference had affected community projects. In Clarens the project had been burnt down and communities were blaming it on political interference. In Phuthaditjhaba, the municipal approvals for the Qwa Qwa Guesthouse had to be done twice as the political leadership of the municipality had denied knowledge of the project after it had been funded by the National Department of Tourism. the community blamed this on senior political leadership in the area who wanted to be involved in the project for personal gains.
9.7 Stakeholder engagement
There were concerns about stakeholder involvement in the Free State province. In some municipalities, such as Ladybrand, stakeholders who were invited to attend the meetings were not representative of the entire tourism industry in the area. This was seen as an act that excluded some important stakeholders and was not good for transformation and skills transfer in the industry.
In Clarens, it was difficult to rally the private sector around one Community Tourism Forum as there were many competing organisations on the ground. Tourism stakeholders in the area were divided amongst different interest groups and this was not good for inclusive tourism growth in the area. The stakeholders on the ground however made an undertaking that they will work towards consolidating their varied interests into once Tourism Forum that will represent everybody in the area.
9.8 Absence of Provincial Project Managers
The oversight visits to Social Responsibility Implementation projects required the Committee to be accompanied by Provincial Project Managers (PPMs) responsible for these projects in each province. There were two PPMs who accompanied the Committee in KwaZulu-Natal and there was no one in the Free State oversight visit. The absence of the PPMs was observed despite invitations having been issued to them for these visits. The Committee considered this as a serious matter as it compromised their interaction with some of the issues on the ground. The Committee had to rely on the information provided by the provincial and municipal officials, as well as project beneficiaries without any clarification from the Department.
9.9 Community Partnership Model
The Committee observed a number of models used in implementing the Social Responsibility Implementation projects. One model from Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (EZNW) stood up as a best practice. EKZNW has implemented Enselweni Community Lodge as one of the Expanded Public Works Programme. The project comprises ten traditional councils surrounding the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The ten traditional council constitute a Community Trust. EKZNW engaged the local Community to establish a visitor facility. The funding for this project was derived from two sources, namely Department of Environmental Affairs funding (R 4,2m) and from the communities own funding via the community levy fund ( R3,0 m) . This gave a total of R 7,2m. The Community Levy is derived from money collected from entrance fees to the park. This money is collected by EKZNW on behalf of the communities surrounding the park. The model is as follows:
Adapted from EKZNW (2013): Community Partnership Model
9.9.1 Business Arrangement
The Community Lodge is operated by EKZNW on behalf of the Community via a management agreement for which EKZNW is paid a management fee for all the services provided. All financials are tabled on monthly basis at the Senior Management Committee meeting. All profits from this project accrue back to the community via community levy fund. All bookings are handled by EKZNW’S central reservation’s booking office. The visitor statistics are also tabled in the same meeting. All other additional activities that were not covered within the operational plan were to be covered by the Trust. The operational arrangements of the project are as follows:
The operational costs and the cost for furniture and other consumables were initially borne by the Community Levy and later from profits made from operations of the project.
(ii) Managing Company
The Community registered a Trust that was to oversee or manages the project supported by EKZNW. The Trust deals with all policy and strategic issues related to the community lodge including the recruitment and employment of staff. EKZNW arranged a capacity building programme for the Trust to equip them with skills needed to manage the Community Lodge. EKZN has adopted the project in their website and bookings are made through their Central Reservation System. EKZNW also markets the project in their marketing platforms including national and international trade shows.
The Enselweni Community Lodge employs 12 staff members. All staff members are paid through or by the Trust and pay slips reflect the Trust. EKZNW assisted the Trust to set up a payment system. All staff (12) was recruited from the community and EKZNW assisted with the training. An EKZNW lodge manager was seconded to the project to train a local manager recruited from the community to ensure the incumbent gets all the necessary skills to effectively run the lodge on their own. The Hospitality Manager at Mpila Camp, which is one of EKZN facilities, was to oversee the entire operation as EKZNW was part of the partnership. The community was involved in the recruitment process and the panel was chaired by the member of the Trust.
Section Four – Conclusion and Recommendations
10. R ole of Parliament
The following suggestions are made for consideration by Parliament in conducting a holistic oversight o f the tourism industry:
· Parliament needs to proactively and efficiently plan for feedback sessions with accounting officers of respective provinces and not junior staff members that will allow the Province to give insight into issues raised and their plans in addressing them.
· Parliament needs to intervene on bureaucratic issues (access to funding, shortening permit application process) that affect small businesses in the tourism sector in order for the industry to be easily accessible to previously disadvantaged individuals. In this regard, the PC on Tourism could hold the Department to account when it presents to Parliament.
· There is a need for Parliament to advocate for the review of funding mechanisms to SMMEs, as current mechanisms are not accommodative of SMMEs in the tourism sector. Here, again, the PC on Tourism could hold the Department to account on this matter when it makes presentations to Parliament.
· Parliament needs to find a way of pioneering crosscutting issues in the tourism sector. In this regard, the Tourism Committee could hold joint meetings on matters of common interest with other committees, in order to promote the growth and development of the tourism sector.
· Parliament needs to have a constant dialogue with industry and communities on issues of tourism, for the purpose of contributing to tourism growth and rural development. The Tourism Committee could contribute towards this by holding parliamentary hearings on these matters and continuing to engage with various stakeholders during oversight visits.
· Parliament needs to engage the Department regarding EPWP projects; the processes followed to appoint implementers; the monitoring and evaluation of projects and post project support.
· Parliament needs to closely monitor the EPWP programmes and the utilization of funds in these projects around the nine provinces.
The oversight visit to Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces provided a lot of insight into how far the provinces had gone in aligning their activities with the national priorities and strategies, especially the National Development Plan and the Tourism Sector Strategy. A lot of work had been done at a provincial to ensure a seamless alignment in tourism activities at all three spheres of government. The importance of intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance is becoming very clear for the growth of tourism in the country. Provinces and municipalities also still need to work hard to ensure that there is perfect coordination between the public and private sector. Coordination of the private sector into Tourism Forums or Local Tourism Bureaus needs to be intensified to ensure that the tourism industry works together and fosters transformation.
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 or where implemented not in their entirety. In essence, alignment of the three spheres remains a challenge and there is a need for the Tourism National Strategy, in particular, to be filtered down to municipal level in order to promote growth in the tourism sector. 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 Free State is not satisfactory, there is a huge potential for the two provinces to advance in the tourism sector. There is still a need for the Empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans to become active role-players in this industry so that they become part of the mainstream tourism industry. The challenges faced by the EPWP projects needs the eye of the needle approach in order to iron out the shortcomings and really address the objectives of the EPWP. This should not negate the need for Parliament to monitor how the different agencies utilise funds for tourism development, as this will assist in the growth of tourism in the country.
However, a good Community Partnership Model of implementing community-based tourism projects observed and perceived to be a best practice that can be replicated at other projects with similar characteristics located inside or adjacent to Protected Areas in South Africa. Relevant stakeholders need to be engaged to ensure that this model is perfected.
The following areas of service delivery need to be given special attention:
· The tourism industry still needs to ensure creation of job opportunities and enhance skills development to drive the sector forward.
· Spheres of government need to ensure that economic impact of tourism also accrues to rural areas though inclusive tourism growth.
· There needs to be close monitoring of the performance as reported by national and provincial departments against actual service delivery as observed on the ground.
· Spheres of government need to ensure alignment of strategies, efficiency in utilisation of resources and inclusive planning to promote coordinated tourism growth at all levels.
· There is glaring underperformance of small towns underpinned by incapacity to deliver on their tourism mandate and this needs special attention.
· Evidence from visiting Expanded Public Works Projects (EPWP) revealed that there is disjuncture between inputs and outcomes of the interventions. This could be attributed to a lack of close monitoring at both national and provincial level.
· Performance of EPWP projects indicated a serious lack of project management capacity and poor governance by the National Department of Tourism in implementing these projects.
· The observation on the ground indicated that there is still lack of transformation in the sector and that innovation is needed to deal with this issue, particularly to uplift rural communities.
The Committee will engage the National Department of Tourism on these issues so that the country becomes one of the top 20 destinations by 2020 as envisaged in the National Tourism Sector Strategy.
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism wishes to make the following recommendations and, based on a number of issues experienced in the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal oversight visits request that the Minister ensures that:
· The national government assists the provincial and local governments in ensuring integrated tourism planning;
· The provincial government assists the district and local municipalities in establishing District Tourism Forums and Local Tourism Forums/ Bureaux as espoused in the National Tourism Sector Strategy;
· Dedicated tourism directorates are established at the local government level and provide for necessary staffing;
· All spheres of government provide resources, both human and financial for tourism development in line with national priorities;
· All spheres of government synergise marketing endeavours to maximise resource usage;
· Provinces establish tourism coordinating structures led by the respective MEC’s responsible for tourism;
· Provinces study and consider the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Coordinating Structures Model in implementing the resolutions of the Local Government Conference held in February 2013;
· Parliament needs to engage the Department regarding EPWP projects; the processes followed to appoint implementers; the monitoring and evaluation of projects and post project support;
· The National Department of Tourism explores the merits of the Community Participation Model used by Ezemvelo-KwaZulu Natal Wildlife in implementing Social Responsibility projects for replication elsewhere in the country;
· The National Department of Tourism develops a turn-around strategy of finalising the incomplete Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) projects and present it to Parliament before the end of the current financial year; and
· All spheres of government intensify tourism awareness and skills development programmes to ensure that local communities are included in the mainstream economy.
Report to be considered.
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