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Deputy Minister Xasa interacts with Graaff-Reinet community
Deputy Minister Xasa interacts with Graaff-Reinet community
The Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa today interacted with the local community of the Beyers Naudé Municipality in Graaff-Reinet on tourism issues as part of the National Imbizo Focus Week. 

“As part of its 2030 National Development Plan (NDP), our government has set itself targets to grow the economy and create employment. These Imbizo enable us to establish the needs within communities and address them to ensure we meet those targets,” said Deputy Minister Xasa.

The National Imbizo Focus Week affords members of the Executive an opportunity to engage with citizens on issues that affect the country’s development agenda. It is a two-way interactive information sharing platform – which gives credence to a participatory democracy. 

More than 500 community members attended the Imbizo. The lack of employment opportunities, high rates of alcoholism, and limited access to resources were among the key issues that were raised by the community. Representatives from all spheres of government undertook to address the challenges, and pleaded for cooperation from members of the community.

“Tourism and agriculture are the driving force of our local economy. We need to work together as a community, and find innovative ways to utilise tourism and agriculture to greater benefit our people,” said   Mayor Councillor De Vos. 

The Imbizo was followed by a Career Expo that gave community members an opportunity to learn about tourism, and other sectors as potential careers of choice. 

Deputy Minister Xasa emphasised the importance of education, and urged the municipality to prioritise skills development initiatives to capacitate the youth, and ultimately ensure an improved standard of living. 

“As the Department, we are committed to skills development. We have trained more than 800 young people as Chefs, Food Safety Assurers and Wine Service Practitioners. A large number of these young people have been absorbed in the tourism workforce, and contribute positively to the improved service levels in our Industry,” said Xasa. 
 
“I therefore encourage you to take up opportunities, offered by the government structures within your communities, to upskill yourselves and ensure an improved standard of living for yourselves and your families,” added Xasa. 

At the end of the session, the Deputy Minister handed over 800 sanitary towels to the Beyers Naudé Municipality.

Enquiries:

Mr Trevor Bloem  
Chief Director: Communications
Department of Tourism
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607
Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729