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Minister Kubayi-Ngubane appoints expert panel for tourism policy review
Minister Kubayi-Nngubane appoints expert panel for tourism policy review

The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has appointed a panel of experts to help review the current tourism policies and develop a new policy direction for the tourism sector.

The seven-member Advisory Panel, comprising of experts with diverse knowledge in the sector and the economy, will review all our existing policies, provide guidance to the Minister over a twelve-months period, with a view to develop a new comprehensive and overarching tourism policy framework to guide the sector to new heights.

The Advisory Panel set to embark on this momentous task is comprised of the following members:

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Dr Bongani Ngqulunga

Advisory Panel Chair

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga – Director: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg. Dr Bongani Ngqulunga is an academic, public sector administrator and author. Prior to joining JIAS, he worked in the South African Presidency for more than a decade. He worked at the Policy Unit in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and served as the Chief of Staff and spokesperson of the President of South Africa.

He holds a PhD in Sociology from Brown University in the United States, and three degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His appointment at JIAS became effective in June 2018. In the same month, Dr Ngqulunga won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for his book: The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme (Penguin, 2018) and the 2019 Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) award for best non-fiction monograph.

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Ms. Busisiwe Radebe

An economist with the Nedbank Group Economic Unit, Ms Busisiwe Radebe started her career at Genesis analytics, followed by stints as an economics reporter with a business news channel, a short period with the South African Competition Commission's policy and research unit and went on to be assistant economist with Renaissance Capital (formerly Barnard Jacobs Mellet).
She holds a Masters' Degree in economics from the University of Johannesburg and an honours degree from the University of Stellenbosch. Her interests include monetary and development economics.

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Mr. Michael Tollman

Michael Tollman holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and is a South African Chartered Accountant. He has held the role of Group CEO of Cullinan Holdings Ltd since 2008, a company comprised of 25 businesses listed on the Johannesburg Stock exchange since 1903 until the Group delisted in March 2018. Cullinan Holdings Ltd is the leader in the tourism services sector in Southern Africa and offers coach and vehicle transportation, inbound and outbound tour operations, corporate and retail travel services, meeting and incentives, sporting events, financial services and marine and other leisure services. Michael was also Vice Chairman of Wilderness Holdings Ltd and a director of the Wilderness Group from 1995 until 2018. The Wilderness Safaris Group is a leading safari company in Southern Africa comprising 50 lodges. Michael is also a director of The Travel Corporation Ltd, a globally respected and leading tourism group operating 30 leading brands in over 60 countries with 35 offices located around the world. Michael has worked in various roles in the Travel Corporation since 1989. He is also a director of a number of other companies in Southern Africa, including Bouchard Finlayson Wine Estate and the Red Carnation hotels Group (South Africa).

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Ms. Mmatsatsi Ramawela

Ms Mmatšatši Ramawela spent 23 years of her career in the travel and tourism industry. Her journey within the sector has seen her occupy various positions in marketing and product development from 1995 when she joined the South African National Parks; followed by the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority and Limpopo Tourism and Parks between the years of 2000 and 2005. She moved into the private sector in 2006 when she joined the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) until her departure in 2018. Amongst the highlights of her time at the TBCSA is organising and hosting the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) between 2007 and 2015. Prior to her career in tourism, Ms Ramawela worked in retailing at Woolworths, in the development finance industry at the then Small Business Development Corporation and at Reckitt & Colman.

Ms Ramawela holds a Master's degree in Leadership in Emerging Economies from the University of Johannesburg. She has served in various South African, African and international organisations and continues to serve the tourism industry in various capacities. She is the Board Chair of the Auspex Hotels and Leisure Management (an entity that oversees the management of the Radisson Blu hotel in Port Elizabeth); and is a Member of the Tourism Transformation Council of South Africa.

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Mr. Sylvester Chauke

Mr Sylvester Chauke is founder and Chief Architect of South Africa's PR Agency of the year 2018 - DNA Brand Architects, winner of the ICCO World's Best PR campaign 2019, IABC Best of the Best 2019 and Adweek Top 100 Fastest Growing Agency in the world 2020.
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Adv. Mojankunyane Gumbi

Deputy chairperson of the South African Tourism Board, the founder of Mojanku Gumbi Advisory Services, a Johannesburg-based business advisory firm that maintains a strategic partnership with the Washington-based Albright Stonebridge Group and has been appointed as the University of Venda's new Chancellor with effect from 01 January 2020 to 31 December 2024
She was a Special Advisor to South African President Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2008. From 1994 to 1999, she was an Advisor to then Deputy President Mbeki in the Mandela administration. During this time, she spearheaded South Africa's economic diplomacy, ensuring a global presence for South African companies. She was involved in peace-making initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Comoros, Sudan, Lesotho, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Iran and the Middle East.

Adv. Gumbi holds Law degrees from the South African Universities of the North (now University of Limpopo), and Witwatersrand, and a certificate in Trial Advocacy from the University of Texas in Austin. She serves and has served on the boards of many companies, trusts and philanthropic associations including the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, the Open Society Foundation, African Bank, LexisNexis, PPC, the Southern African Political and Economic Trust (SAPES), the Black Lawyers Association and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

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Prof Dianne Abrahams

Prof Abrahams is the Director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at University of Johannesburg where she provides academic stewardship and oversight to both academic departments and the commercial operations unit. She holds a BSc Hons MSc PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has acquired a wealth of skills and expertise during her different roles in the corporate, non-profit, government and academic sector.

Throughout her career she has demonstrated commitment to economic and social development in South Africa, holding various senior positions in strategic development and governance. Her talents lie in driving significant transformative change initiatives with profound success, through passion, commitment and effective stakeholder engagement. In her current role she is passionate about bursary support for students and has engaged many private sector partners and alumni to 'give back' to meritorious and needy students both financially and in terms of employment opportunities. This kind of giving back she notes as important in terms of both transforming the sector and in providing opportunities to the many talented youngsters starting a career in tourism and hospitality.

As part of its work, the panel will bring into sharp focus transformation, travel facilitation and regulatory barriers, tourism safety, quality assurance, tourist guiding, tour operators and travel agencies, technological development, product or infrastructure development and conferences bidding and support. Other focus areas include knowledge management, best practices, responsible tourism and sustainable tourism.

“The panel will ensure alignment between proposed policy and government plans and through this policy review, we aim to reposition the tourism sector towards a new trajectory by unlocking its full potential. It is my firm belief that this crucial work will go a long way in increasing our sector’s contribution to our economy, which finds itself at its weakest since the advent of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

A meeting with the panel was convened recently at which all of the members expressed gratitude and committed to be the anchor in our bid as government to close the glaring policy gap. The 1996 Tourism White Paper on the development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa, for example, remains the overarching policy framework but it was updated over two decades ago (24 years ago) - this requires some reflection.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane added: “I’m looking forward to working with the panel members who will help me steer the ship to the right direction. The tourism sector has intricate value chain which is continuously impacted by global policy developments, necessitating a comprehensive review of tourism policy in South Africa. Most notably, global and local trends have emerged in the past two decades and we need cutting-edge knowledge to thrive and respond adequately to technological development to avoid becoming obsolete.”

For media inquiries contact:

Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota
Ministry of Tourism
Cell: 064 754 8426