Dear colleagues in tourism
I am deeply honoured to be here today where we say thank you and honour you for your invaluable contribution to this amazing programme. It’s great to be in this province – the home of legends and my home province.
As you know, over the past 20 years, tourism has experienced continued and steady growth in South Africa and has undergone such a diversification in our country to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors. Modern tourism’s success depends on, and is closely linked to skills development. In fact, they share a symbiotic relationship. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress. It has subsequently been identified as one of the economic pillars.
The aim of the Department of Tourism and government is to safeguard the long-term prosperity of the tourism industry through sustainable development, giving special attention to training human resources in specifically tourism-orientated skills, which will ensure the professionalism of service performance. Tourism businesses are no longer competing purely against each other, but against other economic sectors. Supply will have to adapt to the needs of the consumer, and consolidate a competitive advantage.
President Jacob Zuma during his 2015 State of the Nation Address unveiled a Nine-Point Plan as part of a major push forward for the economy. Through the plan government intends to ignite growth and create jobs.
The National Development Plan (NDP) commits Government to a target of 5% GDP growth by 2019. The Nine-Point plan supports the implementation of the NDP and is intended to ignite and propel economic growth. Government must therefore ensure that, working together with all sectors of society various strategic areas of the plan are pursued in an integrated and coordinated way.
The Nine-Point Plan consists of the following:
1) Resolving the energy challenge;2) Revitalising the agriculture and the agro-processing value chain;3) Advancing beneficiation and adding value to our mineral wealth; 4) More effective implementation of a higher-impact Industrial Policy Action Plan;5) Encouraging private sector investment;6) Moderating workplace conflict;7) Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, Co-ops, Township and Rural enterprises;8) State reform, including boosting the role of state owned companies in broadband, water, sanitation and transport infrastructure; and, 9) Growing the Ocean Economy and Tourism.
The NDT’s contribution is on activity number 9 (Oceans Economy) and activity 7 (Unlocking SMME, Co-Ops, Township and Rural Enterprises’ Potential) on the 9 Point Plan from the SONA. As a result, NDT identified the following initiatives to contribute towards the Oceans Economy.
OCEANS ECONOMYBLUE FLAG AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME
THE BLUE FLAG PROGRAMME PROJECT PLAN
The department is currently arranging meetings with Coastal provinces and their coastal municipalities to discuss the Oceans Economy initiatives to synergise resources. On 09 December 2015 the department will meet with KZN and meetings with Northern, Eastern and Western Cape provinces are scheduled to take place in January 2016.
Local government/Metros, Local Communities, Tourism operators, Spatial planners, Land owners and DAFF, Industry and Environmental regulatory authorities, Tourism 3 spheres of government, Business owners, NGOs – WESSA, Trade and Industry, Research, International coastal expert, Funding and investor organisation – IDC, SEFA, Organised sports and recreational organisations, SAMSA, NSRI, SANRAL, PRASA, SANBI, Public Works, DEA, Transnet, Treasury, SETAs – CATHSSETA, and Higher Education Institutions.
THE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE IN DEVELOPING SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE TOURISM SECTOR.
DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM’S INTERVENTION IN TOURISM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
KEY AREAS OF SUPPORT
Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP): facilitates the growth, development, and sustainability of small tourism businesses through:-
Going forward, the department realises the importance that entrepreneurship plays in job creation and transformation and is establishing a dedicated programme within the department to drive enterprise development in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Development. Through this programme the department intends to double the amount of SMMEs supported and improve awareness of opportunities in the tourism value chain that will strengthen the multiplier effect of this burgeoning sector. Key elements of this programme will be the establishment of a Tourism Business Incubator that will support young entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas for tourism, a Development Fund to support the objectives of economic transformation and destination competitiveness. Through interventions the department aims to create an enabling environment for tourism SMMEs to create and sustain jobs as we increase the number of international arrivals and domestic trips.
As you can see, with your continued dedication and commitment, we are building the economy together and Moving South Africa Forward.
I thank you