Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
South African Tourism Call Centre E-Tools Facebook Twitter
Minister Patricia de Lille on Tourism Careers Outreach event with Mitchells Plain Schools

Note to editors: The following speech was delivered by Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille at a Tourism Careers and Training Outreach event with Mitchells Plain schools at Portland High School today. Read more below…​

  • Principal of Portland High School, Mr Williams 
  • Principals and teachers from various schools 
  • Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) Chairperson, Mr. Jerry Mabena
  • CEO of the Cullinan Group and TBCSA board member, Mr Michael Tollman 
  • South African Association for the Conference Industry, Mr. Glenton De Kock 
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology lecturer, Tauhieda Brandt 
  • Colleen Fortuin - Springbok Atlas tours and Safaris Sales Consultant 
  • Dudu Gumede - Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris Operational Manager 
  • Pastor Dean Ramjoomia
  • Community Policing Forum Chairperson, Norman Jantjies
  • Most importantly, our matric pupils from the various schools. 


Good morning, goeie more, As-salamu alaikum, molweni,


It gives me great pleasure to be here in Mitchells Plain today to engage matric pupils on the exciting opportunities in the most fun sector – tourism. 


I look at you all and I am excited for you, for what lies ahead and to know that you stand at the brink of an exciting time in your life. 


You are about to complete your school career and you will all go into the world and take up your place in a career where you can share your talents and contribute to the growth of our beautiful country. 


This can also be a very scary time but I want to say to all of you: the world is yours, you can go out there and do anything you dream of, the key is simple: work hard. 

There are many problems and difficulties to overcome in communities like Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas, but I want to say that you cannot let your circumstances define who you are or determine what you can achieve. 


You are responsible for what happens after this chapter and you can design the future you want. 


Yes, there are difficulties growing up on the Cape Flats but that does not have to be the be all and end all of your story. 


There are many success stories of people who have come from Mitchells Plain, Philippi, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and many other areas who have achieved huge successes. 


The testimonials we heard today are examples of what any of you can achieve. 


There are now doctors, dentists, lawyers, legitimate business people who hail from these areas. 


There are people in many sectors who are leaders and successful players in their sector. 


The tourism sector is no different, there are people who are thriving in the tourism sector who came from your schools and your communities. 


So before I get into the details of all the exciting opportunities in tourism, I want to say to all our matric pupils: Dream big, go for gold and don’t let anyone or any circumstances stand in your way of being a success. 


Any one of you can be a tourism business owner, a hotel manager, a restaurant manager or own your own guesthouse or hotel or tour company. 


Anything is within reach, the only thing you need to do, is be prepared to do the hard work and success will come.


I am excited to be joined by leaders in the tourism sector today and invited them along so that you could hear valuable information from as many people as possible.


Tourism is fun and exciting and encourages us to be creative but there is also a serious business side attached to it. 

I want to take a moment to thank: 

  • Jerry Mabena from the country’s leading private sector body – the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, 
  • Mr Michael Tollman CEO of Cullinan Holdings, 
  • Mr Glenton De Kock from the tourism business events sector, 
  • Colleen Fortuin and Dudu Gumede from Springbok Atlas tours and Safaris and 
  • CPUT lecturer Tauhieda Brandt for being here today 


Your support and presence here today is really appreciated. 


I am also very proud that we have heard to success stories from people who worked their way up in the tourism sector. 


I hope that their stories have inspired you to know that you too can achieve this and so much more. 




Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa and all over the world. 

There are tremendous opportunities for employment across South Africa that offers various career opportunities in the travel and tourism sector such as: in government, hospitality, conservation, coastal marine, adventure, luxury, township and village tourism careers.




One of the first parts of information I want to share is that the Department of Tourism offers full-time bursaries for different study fields for young people and they are advertised in national newspapers and on the departmental website every year. 


Please visit the department of tourism’s website on regularly to look out for bursary opportunities and the application forms. 


Other bursary funders from the sector includes SANParks, the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), Provincial Tourism Departments, Authorities and the Private sector organisations.



The Department of Tourism also offers Internship Programmes for graduates for a period of 24 months. 

The Applications for 2025 intake are yet to be advertised so please keep a look out on the department’s website and I want to encourage teachers to also assist pupils with these processes annually. 


Tourism is also a good career path for personal growth as you interact with with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds which leads to personal growth and the development of communication and interpersonal skills.


There are also many global opportunities: The industry provides opportunities to work and travel in various countries and it offers opportunities to experience different cultures and environments.


We also know that as young people, you don’t like boring work and you love to be creative and tourism is one of the career paths which encourages creativity and innovation. 


There are many young people already implementing their own ideas and businesses and even other locals with specialized tours and cooking classes. 




The Department has identified challenges that have been prioritised in the Tourism and Hospitality sector on how skills development can contribute towards sustainable economic growth and labour absorption. 


The department therefore has a number of Youth Skills Development Programmes aim is to address the skills shortage facing the industry.  


The various skills programmes/ trainings are offered on a national scale and are targeted at unemployed youth between the ages of 18 to 35 and who have a matric certificate.


The programmes include: Wine Service Training Programme, Chefs Training Programme/Professional Cookery, Food Safety Quality Assurers, Training Programme, Hospitality Youth Training Programme: Food and Beverage, Tourism Monitors Programme and Tourist Guide Training. 

The structure of the programmes comprises of 30% theory and 70% Practical Training.

The programmes are accredited by Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality Sports SETA as a Skills Programme.




Another initiative implemented by the department is the Advocacy and Awareness Programme which is what we are doing today. 


This programme aims to expose and educate school learners, TVETs, unemployed youth, graduates and tourism stakeholders on the importance of tourism and how they can contribute to it.


With this programme, we promote tourism as a career and profession of choice whilst spreading knowledge about tourism as an industry and as an opportunity for growth and development.




In tourism there are many job opportunities in the public and private sector although most of the jobs are in the private sector in companies and hotels. 


In the public sector there are jobs at national, provincial and local government level for example as a tourism officer, tourism programme manager, marketing manager, human resources, research or as a tourism information office to name a few. 


In the private sector, jobs include working at airlines as cabin crew, a tour operator, car rental companies. Chauffeur, travel agent, working at a tourist attraction or as a tour guide. 


In the hospitality sector, there are various jobs at hotels, guest houses, lodges, holiday resorts or nature reserves where you can work as a tour coordinator or guide, management, reception or other parts of the operation.


In terms of jobs in Conservation Management, Protection services, Field ranging, Environmental education & Interpretation, Cultural heritage interpretation, Veterinary & scientific services – there are jobs at national and provincial parks and game reserves

In events, there are also a range of jobs including working on conferences, trade and exhibition shows as an Events coordinator/Manager, Venue Manager, Production Assistant/Manager, Catering staff, Audio-visual Technician, Event Marketing Management or Entertainment Coordinator.


There are also many ways to be your own boss and you can start up your own business in adventure tourism, township and village tours, cultural tourism experiences, tourism technology solutions or a hospitality business like hotels, bed and breakfast or a lodge.


Other entrepreneurship opportunities include Culinary Tourism Businesses: creating culinary tourism experiences that is centred around food or providing destination management services to assist travellers with itinerary planning, transportation arrangements and guided tours.


Work opportunities can also be found in the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) or the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) to name a few.


At these organisations, you can work in Accounting or Financial Management, Economics, Statistics, Human resources Management/ Development, legal services, Communications, Strategic or Business Management, Risk Management and Tourism Management. 


Some of the qualities needed in the tourism sector is that the sector needs people who are passionate, driven, motivated, patient, good communication and customer skills, responsible, leadership, team worker and people who can adapt and be flexible to do what is needed to get the job done properly. 




Young people, educators and partners, we are grateful that we had this platform to engage learners on the importance of tourism and to share ways in which you can make a positive contribution towards the development of the tourism sector.


It is my hope that this session today will equip learners with information on the different career opportunities and industry offerings.


Tourism is exciting, it can take you places but it is also hard work. 


We hope that you will take on the information we have shared today and reach out to grab the opportunities that are there to offer a helping hand to pupils who need it. 


I want to thank the private sector partners, the principals, the teachers and the councillors for the work you are doing and let us get out there and expose more of our young people to more information that can help them build a successful future for themselves.


Tourism is also a powerful tool to make a difference in communities where it contributes to economic development and job creation. 


As you have done with this competition today, if you have success with your tourism business idea, you could be the person to create work for other people. 


In this way, you can make a positive impact on your community and for Cape Town and for South Africa as a destination. 


Learners, finally, I want to say to you, please stop looking at the wrong people and wrong influences in your communities.


The plagues of drug abuse and gangsterism will take you nowhere. Rise up above those circumstances and take charge of your own future…


A future where you can be an example to others, where you will work in your communities and help to uplift people.


You can create a future where you become a leader in your field and go out there and make a difference and see the world.  


Do not let the problems and where you are now stop you, your difficulties can shape you into the strong person you need to be to go out there and create a success story. 


I wish you all the success with your matric year and your future beyond school.


I hope to bump into many of you somewhere in the tourism sector and for you to tell me that you were here today and later on, when I see you again, you can tell me about your success in tourism. 


Go out there and grab opportunities and be the next success story from your community. 


Thank you all once again, baie dankie, enkosi and God Bless you all. 


For Media Enquiries:


Zara Nicholson

Media Liaison Officer – Office of the Minister of Tourism 

Cell: +27 (0) 79 416 5996