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J2SE Success
Journey to Service Excellence a Success in Upington
“Tourism is a people based socio- economic activity, and service is at the centre of delivery for all tourism products. As a sector, we need to embrace Service Excellence and commit to improving our service levels to ensure that South Africa remains a destination of choice for both domestic and international tourists,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, at an event to celebrate the success of the Journey to Service Excellence (J2SE) pilot programme in Upington – Northern Cape. 

The Journey to Service excellence (J2SE) pilot programme is a result of the National Service Excellence Strategy, launched by the Department of Tourism in 2011 to address inconsistent service levels identified in the tourism value chain.  The strategy’s long-term goal is to establish South Africa as a globally competitive service economy, and the world destination of choice. Designed in consultation with industry stakeholders and the public, the J2SE pilot programme is poised to improve service levels, and create a service –oriented culture in South Africa.

“We were delighted to learn that Upington had been selected to pilot the J2SE programme,” said marketing director, Drinie Samson, from the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDEAT). “As hosts of the 2014 World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations, and internationally renowned Speedweek event, we anticipate an increase in domestic and international visitors.  The J2SE programme has prepared and sensitised the community, and local businesses to the importance and economic benefits of service excellence to tourism, 4” added Samson.

The day’s proceedings began with an awareness motorcade (Road-Block) hosted by the Department of Tourism in partnership with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).  Deputy Minister Xasa and Major General Shivuri spoke to members of the community, and handed out J2SE and Safety pamphlets to passers-by. “Service Excellence can best thrive in a Safer South Africa” said Major General Shivuri, the Provincial Deputy for Operational Services at SAPS.  As SAPS, we will continue to work with our government counterparts and the community to ensure that South Africa is a safer place for its citizens and tourists, added Shivuri. 

The J2SE event is the final stage of a three phase pilot programme that began in November 2013. Members of the Upington tourism value chain attended Service Excellence Skills workshops, Leadership Workshops and Round-table Discussions. The community’s participation in the pilot programme resulted in the formation of the towns J2SE Implementation Forum, which has been entrusted with the responsibility to continue advancing service excellence post the pilot phase.  

In an effort to create awareness and bring the J2SE pilot programme closer to the local community, the Department of Tourism and its Northern Cape provincial partners embarked on a six-week radio campaign to find and acknowledge Upington’s Service Excellence Heroes.  Six community members were selected as Service Excellence Heroes.  

“We are both humbled and inspired by the manner in which the community of Upington embraced the radio competition,” said Ms Aliwiya Mac Minn, a member of the J2SE Implementation Forum.  “As a result, the forum will continue acknowledge service excellence by handing out J2SE tokens in order to sustain the service-oriented culture we have created. Upington will one day be a town renowned for excellence,” added Mac Minn.

The celebrations culminated with the signing of the Journey to Service Excellence pledge by Deputy Minister Xasa, with representatives from the local municipality, South African Police Services and the Upington Implementation Forum.  “As we sign this pledge, we must embrace the notion that ‘Service Excellence Starts with ME,’ and commit to making Upington a town renowned for excellence,” concluded Xasa.  

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

Issued by The National Department of Tourism