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Africa: SA seeks to reform industry as less than 25% Black South Africans involved in tourism

South Africa’s Parliament Portfolio Committee on Tourism has called on the public to send in submissions tourism transformation in a bid to improve the industry at domestic level. In a release signed on behalf of the committee’s Chairperson, Mr. Supra Mahumapelo (MP), the public was enjoined to make the submission on or before July 31, 2020.

According to the release, the 6th Parliament Portfolio Committee on Tourism, having realised that the pace of transformation in the tourism sector in South Africa is too pedestrian, and that tourism development is confined to the Johannesburg-Durban-Cape Town Golden Triangle, with pockets of excellence in selected areas in other provinces, has adopted an oversight approach that seeks to promote tourism development in Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSDs).

To achieve this, the Committee has adopted a working philosophy based on 3Rs, namely, Rebranding, Repositioning and Renewal of the tourism sector in the South African Economy. In pursuing this end, the Committee seeks to work with all segments and structures of civil society in an Un-cooptable, None
antagonistic, Co-operative and reciprocative Oversight approach.

The latest statistics with regard to the state of transformation, as confirmed by the Baseline Study on the State of Transformation in the Tourism Sector in South Africa, does not inspire confidence.

For example, ownership of tourism businesses by black people ranges from the lowest of 25 percent in the Western Cape to 56 percent in Limpopo. Management Control ranges from 13 percent in the Western Cape to 29 percent in Limpopo; Skills Development ranges from 10 percent in the Eastern Cape to 42 percent in Kwazulu-Natal. These figures indicate that more work still needs to be done to transform the tourism sector.

The Committee would therefore like to invite the members of the civil society, in all formations, to make submissions on the ways and strategies to expedite transformation in the tourism sector in South Africa. The information is intended to engage the government on critical success factors needed to expedite transformation. This will help the Committee to hold government accountable on tourism transformation matters raised by the citizens.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also emboldened the call by the Committee for the country to grow domestic tourism as the international markets have proved to be volatile, fluid, and susceptible to global shocks such as diseases, regional conflicts and currency fluctuations. Domestic tourism, therefore, provides opportunities for transformation as we develop and market new and tailor made domestic experiences and packages.

The Committee commits to reporting back annually to the citizens during the tenure of the 6th Parliament on the progress made on the transformation agenda in South Africa. This will be done through an Annual Parliamentary Tourism Transformation Summit hosted by the Committee every September.

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