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Opening remarks by Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa on the occasion of the Curriculum Review Workshop held at the Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg
Opening remarks by Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa on the occasion of the Curriculum Review Workshop held at the Birchwood
​Programme Director,
Ms Carol-Anne Cairns, Skills Solutions
Ms Shannon Doolings, Umalusi
Ms Elizabeth Burroughs, Umalusi
Ms Beverley Muller, Tsogo Sun
Morongoe Ramphele, DDG Domestic Tourism, NDT 
Distinguished guests,
Members of the media, 
Ladies and Gentlemen

South Africa continues to stand at a crossroads in terms of development and the transformation of our society and I think we can all agree that it is the decisions that we take today that will ensure that we all have a bright future to look forward to.

I welcome you all to this curriculum review workshop which is a pivotal and exciting event in the Tourism and hospitality sector. 

This workshop is a practical example of how we as government are responding to the rapidly changing conditions of the industry by keeping our ear to the ground when it comes to our various stakeholders.

After consulting widely within the industry, the feedback the National Department of Tourism was getting from the industry was that the curriculum as it is now, is not relevant and does not respond to the practical needs of the industry. Together with other key stakeholders in government including the Basic and Higher Education departments, Umalusi as well as the CATHSSETA, a task team was put in place to investigate and ascertain the value standing of the services subjects of Tourism, Hospitality and Consumer studies.

In 2014 the findings and recommendations of the Curriculum and Evaluation reports were presented to the wider education fraternity.

This workshop is essentially aimed at encouraging and fostering dialogue amongst industry stakeholders with a view for the industry to validate and endorse the Curriculum and Evaluation report recommendations. In addressing the challenge of the current curriculum not responding adequately to the realities of the industry, the department also took a step back to see the bigger picture and ensure we address the challenge holistically.

This is to ensure that it is not only the learners that benefit in terms of the curriculum review but that the entire tourism value chain is empowered and that educators are also capacitated with relevant knowledge. In addition to the curriculum review process, and as an interim stop-gap measure, the department also hosts annual tourism and hospitality educator seminars which seek to address the challenge of qualified tourism and hospitality content educators.

In the sustainable long-term, the National Department of Tourism is working with the North-West University to develop a qualification for educators that we are hoping to have adopted by other universities in various guises while the core subject matter remains the same.

Tourism has the potential to change lives and already contributes immensely to the country’s coffers and our ultimate goal is for all South Africans to truly benefit from it by having the sector experiencing real transformation.

In order for this to happen, we need to have all stakeholders pulling in the same direction in order to realise our goals much faster. We appeal to our partners, Universities South Africa to also help us get to a point where the matter of subject designation is finally resolved.

Currently, Universities South Africa has designated the high school subject of Consumer Studies as the designated subject which makes entry into university easier. This has however created problems in that the impression created is that the other two subjects namely Tourism and Hospitality are not important. Ideally, we would like to see a situation where subject designation is done away with altogether as this creates a problem of stigmatisation for the other two school subjects.

If scrapping subject designation altogether is not an option, the department humbly implores that tourism as a subject becomes the designated subject in relation to university entry. Much like the ideals that the former President of the ANC, O R Tambo stood for, we also strive for a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist prosperous and democratic society.

In order for us to achieve these ideals that O R Tambo so gallantly fought for, education is the one tool we can use to realise these.

I thank you