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T Xasa: NTCE Breakfast meeting at Indaba 2015
Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa

This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter and all that it espouses. The Freedom Charter says: ‘let the doors of culture and learning be opened…” And as we remember, we are also galvanized to further give expression to these values. For what is memory without movement? And what better movement than to mentor and uplift our young people?

The last session for the Eastern Cape Province as host of the NTCE concluded with the introduction of a new important platform called Student Preneur (enterprise development) which seeks to unearth entrepreneurial innovation from young people who have the inspiration to own or manage their tourism businesses.

Below are NTCE legacy projects in the Eastern Cape that will continue to benefit the province and add value to the tourism sector in the province.

  • Student Preneur- this platform will be the key milestone of the NTCE legacy project in the Eastern Cape going forward.
  • The Annual Employment Readiness Clinics targeting unemployed graduates which help young people to be prepared for interviews and crafting of CV’s.
  • The schools competition facilitated by the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership South Africa (GTTPSA) which encourages young people to improve their research and communication skills, played a vital role in creating awareness and understanding of the value of tourism.  Winners of the schools competition were awarded with prizes to represent South Africa at the international youth conference held in France in November 2014.

The province’s capacity to host mega events was unearthed and also presented an opportunity for the province to be marketed as the adventure tourism destination. This was done through the NTCE adventure corner where demonstrations were made and learners participated in the adventure activities.

So what are the benefits of the NTCE?

  • Creates a platform for tourism promotion
  • Create a vehicle for sharing information on the sub sectors in tourism
  • Creates an opportunity for leaders in tourism to share information and experiences to inspire potential future tourism leaders
  • It creates an opportunity for tourism to be viewed as a profession of choice
  • It creates a platform for tourism curricula aspects to share information on technical issues with the tourism educators
  • It assists the host province to market its products
  • The economic spin off may include the creation of temporary jobs and using the hotels and products to accommodate the learners and presenters and attendees.
  • A decision has been taken to utilise local service providers for the provision of services like events management and logistical arrangements and branding.
  • In the process of implementing NTCE, the province acquires skills on project management, events management and stakeholder relations management.

Furthermore the localised procurement through hosting the NTCE in the province supported approximately 90% of cost from the overall R8 million NTCE budget benefited the local enterprise from the province. The SMME beneficiaries in this regard were involved in catering, transport, accommodation and other relevant services that the NTCE event required. The actual cost benefit and impact can only be verified formally through an impact analysis study.

Without any doubt, we are confident that over the past three years we have showcased tourism as a career and the employer of choice to young people and indeed this platform will help create a pool of future tourism practitioners that will be the workers of the tourism industry.

The way forward

We are moving to a new province and we acknowledge that every province is unique and we are looking forward to new and creative innovative three-years. The dawn and hope of 2015 to 2017 has fallen to the heart of the country in Mangaung and I am very proud to announce that Free State will be the new host province for the NTCE 2015 to 2017 “At the heart of it all”. Free State province being the only province in the country that borders 6 provinces and Lesotho and it is very accessible to South Africans coming from most of the provinces. I have no doubt in my mind that the province will host a truly inclusive and successful NTCE.

We are confident that the Free State project team will maintain or surpass the achievements and standard for the NTCE milestone by staging an NTCE event that signifies the Free State province.

Lastly, let me call upon the industry to participate at this year’s NTCE to take place from 1-3 October 2015in Mangaung and provide support in the following areas:

  • Speakers
  • Exhibitors
  • Pledges for internships, learnerships and bursaries; and
  • Any other job creation opportunities in your companies.

Let us all support the Free State province in their efforts of promoting the sector as a career and profession of choice “Jwale ke nako ya kotula”

I thank you.