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Remarks by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Fish Mahlalela at the Food and Beverages Graduation ceremony in Mbombela
Remarks by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Fish Mahlalela at the Food and Beverages Graduation ceremony in Mbombela

Programme Director Dr Sipho Ngomane

Ms Moloko Ramohlale Executive Director MMC Business Solutions

Mr R Lerouh Host Employer

Mr N Mvumbu Host Employer 

Mr Mtungwa Executive Manager MTPA

Esteemed Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


Programme Director, let me join the rest of you in expressing our profound gratitude 

to these graduates for their notable and exceptional performance in their Food and 

Beverages Training Programme. 


To graduate marks an important milestone in life of a human being, indeed it is a time to celebrate achieving a seminal life goal while leaving behind a formative stage in life. Indeed, this is a great start for all our graduates to build a better future for themselves and their families, let me wish you all a great future with many prospects.


Similarly, I salute all our stakeholders particularly MMC Business Solutions and host  employers for their support in ensuring and guaranteeing the success of this programme which today sees the official handing over of competency certificates to the 81 graduates from all over Mpumalanga Province.


The Department of Tourism through its Tourism National Tourism Sector Strategy has, amongst others, identified a need to address skills shortages in the tourism sector by training and building capacity of unemployed youth and graduates in especially critical and scarce skills in the hospitality and tourism services sector. 


We all believe that education has all the necessary ingredients to holistically develop an individual to be an accomplished human being.


Our mission over the past 30 years has been to restore both social and economic justice to our nation, and to decisively address the inequality that was the hallmark of systemic discrimination and dispossession.


Over these years, we sought to use education as a tool to create equality, employment and fighting poverty, having witnessed the worst injustices of apartheid of using education as a tool to perpetuate inequality. 


Our basic education outcomes are steadily improving across a range of measures. The latest matric pass rate, at 82.9%, is the highest ever. And with each new year, learners from no-fee schools are accounting for more and more of the bachelor passes achieved. 


At the same time, fewer learners are dropping out of school. We have increased funding for poor and working-class students in universities and TVET significantly over the past five years.


Our government has been investing enormous efforts and resources to stimulate, transform and grow our economy so that it can create jobs, grow new and old industries, and create business opportunities for millions of young men and women who are the hardest hit by the scourge of unemployment and lack of access to funding. 


The eradication of the legacy of apartheid and colonialism has been a critical priority of the past 30 years of democracy and it is still kept alive by its remnants which are the triple challenges - poverty, inequality and unemployment.


In order to mitigate the vicious impact of these, our government over the years has driven a deliberate and impactful programme of skills revolution essentially to empower all South Africans with the knowledge and skills to participate in the socioeconomic activities.


Today, we all gathered here to witness one of the interventions by our government, through the Tourism Sector Human Resource Development Strategy which has successfully implemented the Food and Beverage Training Programme in Mpumalanga Province.


These achievements today are indeed a by-product of a great partnership between ourselves as Department with MMC Business Solutions and the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).


We therefore, do not have to spare any effort in addressing and achieving the outcome of successfully placing these learners in various establishments for them to carry on with their lives.


We therefore make a call to all prospective employers to join hands with our government in ensuring suitable placements of these graduates to grow our hospitality sector.


Tourism is the world's fastest growing employment sector that continues to adapt to new trends. South Africa is therefore rebuilding the sector to ensure its sustainability for future generations. We have to therefore ensure that the talent supply meets demand.


To drive growth and recovery of the tourism sector, we need to boost the talent pool. A robust recovery plan needs to be firmly anchored in bold strategy that will position the economy on an upward trajectory and growth path.


A demand-led skill supply in the sector is therefore pivotal. While tourism is a significant economic lever, it is so much more than generating revenue. Tourism is a people-centric sector with people at the heart of its brand.


Tourism is a significant pillar in the South African economy. Over the years, tourism has experienced continued growth 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. Recovery drives growth and the tourism sector is one of the critical intervention areas that have been identified in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as  tourism is a key driver of the economic recovery in the country.


The Department of Tourism together with its stakeholders, have collaborated to develop the robust Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. This Plan is anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes: protecting and rejuvenating supply, reigniting demand and strengthening enabling capability for long term sustainability.


We are as government believing that without education, efforts to provide jobs, better health facilities, water, electricity and other needs, will not be sustained. Indeed, our  economy needs relevant skills to be stimulated.


In conclusion, Programme Director, the Department is once again grateful for the ongoing support from our partners for the dedication and commitment to go above and beyond the expectations, as well as the team in the Department under the leadership of DDG Mmaditonki Setwaba for working together to make this programme a success Let me take this opportunity to also congratulate all those among us whose hard work,  dedication and determination will be awarded today.


I thank you all




For Media Enquiries:

Dumisani Mlangeni 

Media Liaison – Office of the Deputy Minister of Tourism 

Cell: +27 083 561 8244