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Address by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela to the Youth and Women in Tourism Imbizo in Qonce, Eastern Cape
Address by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela to the Youth and Women in Tourism Imbizo in Qonce, Eastern Cape


Youth Day is one of the most significant days on the South African calendar. It draws on the strength and bravery of our pioneers while at the same time charting the way for the future.  When we know where we come from, we can know where we are going. The wealth of a nation therefore lies in its youth.


Drawing on the past, the youth of today face a struggle of a different kind. Unemployment is rife among youth and I know it’s very difficult to dream on an empty stomach. Coupled with the crippling effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know it has been extremely hard as we continue battle with the unemployment pandemic. We therefore hope that the interventions that we offer are able to make a marked difference in the quality of your life. 


Over the years, tourism has experienced continued 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. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎


Tourism has become one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income ‎sources for many families in our country. 


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.

As we are on a journey to recovery and rebuilding the sector, we invite you to be part of this growth curve through participating in some of the programmes that we offer. 


The National Youth Chefs Training Programme 

The Department of Tourism offers the National Youth Chefs Training Programme with the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) as the implementing agent. This programme provides training in the field of professional cookery for the selected beneficiaries nationwide, enabling them to gain access to the hospitality industry.

Hospitality Youth Training Programme

The Hospitality Youth Training Programme is a twelve-month learnership programme targeting unemployed youth. The project is rolled out in all nine provinces in South Africa. Learners are trained in tourism and hospitality related fields to enable them to gain experience in the overall operations of the industry. Training is offered through accredited training institutions.

Food Safety Training Programme

This programme is based on training unemployed youth who have obtained a qualification in hospitality from a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET College). They will be trained in food safety quality assurance and will be placed in different hospitality establishments across the nine provinces for experiential learning.


Tourism Monitors

The Department of Tourism, through its Working for Tourism Programme, launched the Tourism Monitors with the purpose of enhancing tourism safety awareness at key tourism attractions and consequently reduce the number of criminal incidents that are directed against tourists, to eliminate opportunities for such crime and to integrate current tourism safety and awareness initiatives into sustainable programmes.

Blue Flag Programme

The Beach Stewards Training Programme is a three-year programme which is aimed at improving tourism facilities and services offered at Blue Flag beaches across the three coastal provinces, namely KZN, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Learners will be deployed across beaches to support tourism initiatives and adherence to Blue Flag criteria.


Tourist Guide Training

Tourist guiding is a critical component of the tourism value chain as it plays an essential role in creating a positive image of our country. In South Africa, tourist guiding is a regulated profession governed by national legislation and policies. Any person that would like to become a tourist guide must undergo training as part of a formal qualification registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). 



The Department has an Internship Programme to support graduates in the development of work-based experience and competencies to enhance their ability to secure employment in the general labour market. This Departmental programme seeks to expose appointed interns to a practical working environment in order to gain competences through work-based learning and experience. We aim to advertise the next intern intake on by end of 2022.



The Department grants part-time or full-time bursaries towards the achievement of qualifications to qualifying members of the public below the age of 35. This serves as a means to secure a pipeline of talent in skills that the Department considers scarce or critical. Tourism bursaries will be advertised on the departmental website around September 2022.


Unemployment unfortunately does not discriminate – it knows not age or gender. And in many cases, the face of poverty is still that of a black woman. Women bear the harshest burden of most social ills. 

In its commitment to advance the mandate of addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, the Department of Tourism continues to spearhead its programmes aimed at women and advancing the transformation agenda. 


The highly successful Women in Tourism (WiT) Programme commenced in 2013, as a platform to drive initiatives that support the development and empowerment of women in the tourism sector.  This platform recognised the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs who are often found at the bottom end of the tourism economic value chain, and identified interventions that will assist in realising the WiT agenda. Its focus areas included training on personal development, supporting women to develop a competitive advantage in their businesses and provision of capacity building initiatives. 

The aim of the programme is to create a conversation platform for advancing transformation and integration of women from different socio-economic backgrounds and spectra within the sector towards ensuring that their interests converge on a common and sustainable developmental goal within the tourism industry. 


The objectives of the WiT are:

  • To ensure that women who constitute the majority in the sector are Respected, Recognised, Represented, and Rewarded; 
  • To drive transformation in the tourism and hospitality sectors aligned to the targets set out in the BBB-EE Tourism Sector Code;
  • To mobilise and create platforms to network, expand business and professional horizons;
  • To facilitate access to business resources, information and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in tourism and hospitality sector.
  • To profile, recognise, affirm and create platforms to celebrate women achievers in the sector. 
  • To highlight problems faced specifically by women in tourism and hospitality sector.
  • To lobby for government and other stakeholders on barriers for the advancement of women in tourism and hospitality sector.


The Eastern Cape Women in Tourism chapter is led by Ms Weziwe Busakwe who is the current chairperson and an ex senior official of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. 

We are extremely pleased to report that the Eastern Cape Women in Tourism is one of the chapters with the highest number of beneficiaries of the Departmental Tourism Incentive Programme (TIP) which was established with the aim of stimulating growth and development in the tourism sector through providing financial assistance to privately owned tourism enterprises.

To name a few of the programmes under the TIP and the beneficiaries are as follows:

Domestic Market Access Support Programme (DMASP)

The DMASP is one of the support mechanisms under the TIP that aims to assist small inbound tourism enterprises to access and engage with tourism buyers in new and existing markets through reducing the cost burden of qualifying enterprises to attend and participate in predetermined domestic tourism trade platforms. By reducing the cost of accessing markets for small inbound tourism enterprises, the programme aims to stimulate enterprise growth and expansion that will ultimately lead to further job creation and transformation in the sector.


Through this programme, seven of the Eastern Cape Women in Tourism members participated in the Africa Travel Indaba which took place in May at the ICC in Durban. 


During the Africa Travel Indaba, beneficiaries were set up under a pavilion called Hidden Gems. The support offered by the Department included contributions towards the cost of participation as follows:

  • Return economy airfare;
  • Accommodation including breakfast;
  • Ground transport in destination 100% of the cost of taxi, bus, shuttle or other public transport; and
  • Exhibition Costs (Rental of exhibition space; Design and construction of the stand; • Promotional marketing materials; • Shipping of marketing materials just to mention few).


Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP)

Through grant funding, the GTIP assists private sector tourism enterprises in reducing the cost of investing in more energy and water efficient operations, while increasing their competitiveness, profitability, employment and operational sustainability in the long term.

One of the Eastern Cape Women in Tourism members, Ms Ntombekhaya Jayiya is a beneficiary of this programme. 


Tourism Grading Support Programme

The Tourism Grading Support Programme offers discounts of between 80% and 90% on the cost of star grading assessment fees for accommodation establishments and meeting venues. A considerable number of the Eastern Cape WiT members who own accommodation establishments, have also had an opportunity to receive grading support from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). 


Young Women in Tourism (Eastern Cape Chapter)

As one of the objectives of the WiT programme is to provide leadership and role models for young women endeavouring to enter the tourism and hospitality sectors, the Eastern Cape Women in Tourism chapter has heeded the call and has young women in their midst. This includes young women who have own businesses in the sector, tourism graduates, young women who are tour guides, crafters and those employed in hotels as managers. 


We are committed to making a difference in your life. Through these offered programmes, we hope to change the narrative of youth and women to become meaningful participants in the economy. I urge you to keep an eye out for our programmes, internships and bursaries.


Join us as part of the tourism industry in our vast value chain – we all have a role to play in positioning South Africa as a preferred destination of choice. If tourism succeeds, we all succeed. If tourism gains, we all gain. 


For media enquiries:


Ms Susan de Bruin

Director: External Communications

Department of Tourism

Cell: +27 (0)82 921 7303