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Remarks by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, at the BMF Annual Corporate Update Dinner
Remarks by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, at the BMF Annual Corporate Update Dinner
Programme Director
Distinguished Guests
Mr Andile Nomlala, President of the BMF
Dr Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Executive Chairperson of ARM
Mr Thabani Ndwandwe, Head of Credit Risk at Standard Bank
Mr Khandani Msibi Group CEO and Chairman at 3sixty Global Solutions Group
Tasneem Fredricks, Deputy President of the BMF  
His Excellency Ambassador  Oumarou Maiga , Burkina Faso Ambassador to South Africa representing Mama Mariam Sankara
Manana Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, our internationally recognized South African singer, entrepreneur and humanitarian
Mr Sandile Zungu, Chairperson of the Black Business Council
Mama Nontsikelelo Biko

Ladies and gentlemen

I would like to thank the leadership of the Black Management Forum (BFM) for inviting me to this corporate dinner tonight. It is, indeed, a great privilege for me to address a distinguished audience such as yourselves. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the recipients of the honorary BMF presidential award, the two heroines of the struggle for the liberation of the African continent from colonialization, Mama Nontsikelelo Biko and Mama Mariam Sankara. 

Malibongwe!  

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are gathered here tonight a week after the sixth democratically elected President his excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, announced the members of cabinet of the sixth administration. In accordance with the electoral mandate received by the ANC, these men and women who constitute the new cabinet are tasked with implementing the ANC manifesto, the blueprint for transformation of our society for the creation of a better life for all. 

The new administration comes into office at a time when our economy is in a continuous decline. As recent as this past Tuesday, we learned from statistics South Africa that our economy has contracted by as much as 3.2% in the first quarter of this year. This means that this new administration has its work cut out.

The invitation letter that I received to come and speak to you this evening stated that you want me to discuss the expectations of the new administration on the accelerated transformation of our society and the development of sustainable, inclusive, productive and competitive economy. Indeed, it is an important matter to discuss as to what expectations should those who have entrusted the new administration with the mandate to govern have? 

As we celebrate 25 years of democracy, reflecting on our achievements and the challenges that remain, the new administration has a responsibility to inspire hope in our people that tomorrow will be better than today. The new administration has a responsibility to ensure that those who live under the overwhelming weight of poverty, unemployment and inequality do not become so despondent that they start thinking that the talk of creating “a better life for all’’ is just a slogan. Thus, in drafting its manifesto, the ANC had to reflect on achievements and challenges that remain and chart a way forward for our country.  

Amongst other things the ANC manifesto says, and I quote “Although much has been achieved, we could have moved faster and the quality of services could have been much better. We accept that mistakes have been made and in some critical areas, progress has stalled.”

In light of this admission, the manifesto goes on to say that ”This is a moment of renewal. It is an opportunity to restore our democratic institutions and return our country to a path of transformation, growth and development.”

The question that arises is: what is it that we need to do to restore our democratic institutions and return our country to a path of transformation, growth and development?

More pointedly, who among us are we going to send to restore our democratic institutions and return our country to a path of transformation, growth and development?

As black managers sitting here tonight and more broadly within the membership of the BMF, you constitute the managerial echelon of our national leadership equipped with the capacity to accelerate the transformation of our society and to drive the development of a sustainable, inclusive, productive and competitive economy.

In the words of our President His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa “The achievement of an inclusive society requires institutions that are not only credible and capable, but that are also equipped to enable and facilitate transformation. We seek a state that is both capable and developmental”.

In this connection, it was reassuring to read that your theme for this year is “good governance: as an anchor to economic development and transformation” with a strong emphasis on clean governance.

This is in line with the constitutional principles to which the managerial echelon must adhere to in their various responsibilities in order to ensure that there is clean governance. These include:
  • a high standard of professional ethics;
  • efficient, economic and effective use of resources;
  • orientation to development;
  • responsiveness to the needs of the people;
  • encouragement of public participation in policy-making;
  • development of the potential of all public servants, through good human resource management and career development; and,
  • proper accountability of the public servants.
Ladies and gentlemen,

The adherence to these principles is a necessary step for us as a country to restore our democratic institutions and return our country to a path of transformation, growth and development.

I invite you as black managers to work with us mindful of the fact that many of you are working to transform a system that is designed to undermine your capacity and, in the end, to undermine the project of transformation. We want you to know that the sixth administration will not compromise in driving the transformation of our economy and you will have our support . However, you should know that as you discharge your duties, we are going to hold you accountable.

I say this because our country veered off course because some amongst us have wittingly or unwittingly used their professional skills in aid of misdeeds. Disappointingly, a tendency has emerged that when some black managers are caught in wrongdoing, they expect to be treated with impunity on the basis that they are black. This cannot be correct, and it should not become the standard with which we measure ourselves. All of us must be held accountable for our actions.

In addition to good governance, the ANC manifesto has also proposed a range of interventions aimed at promoting a developmental growth path to create more jobs and decent jobs. These interventions include the following:
  • sustainable and radical land reform and a plan to broaden ownership of the economy
  • addressing monopolies, excessive concentration and the growth- inhibiting structure of the economy and advance an industrial plan for localisation
  • driving innovation and the digital revolution, 
  • increasing the levels of investment in the economy, 
  • accelerating the provision of infrastructure to support the economy and meet basic needs,
  • transforming and diversifying the financial sector, 
  • consolidating support for small businesses and cooperatives, as well as the growing the township and village economy.  
I’m particularly reflecting on the ANC manifesto because in the coming weeks and months government will be translating the ANC Manifesto into a programme of action.

As I have already mentioned, the new administration has its work cut out. More importantly, your skills as black managers will be needed to help us restore institutions of democracy and to grow an inclusive economy.

The new administration has an appreciation of the fact that failure to grow and transform our economy into an inclusive economy threatens the long-term stability of our country. We daily witness high incidents of crime, the breakdown of the social moral fibre and growing tendency towards ethnic mobilisation whose eventuality will be total breakdown of a unitary democratic state. It is therefore important that, in the spirit of “thuma mina” the broad leadership of our society – in politics, business, labour, religion and other areas of civil society – work together to ensure that we achieve the promise brought about by the democratic breakthrough so that we can eschew this calamity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to speak a bit about my new responsibility as a Minister of Tourism. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact, tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy in 2018, making it the largest tourism economy in Africa. We are convinced that if we work together with all stakeholders, we can double the number of jobs in this sector by 2030.

Travel and Tourism have a great potential to drive economic growth, create jobs and promote social development. I sincerely believe that tourism in South Africa can make a huge contribution to creating an inclusive economy.

For tourism to achieve this, all of us will need to work together to ensure that:
  • we protect our flora and fauna; 
  • we protect our rivers and seas; 
  • we develop the transport infrastructure; 
  • we protect the great African heritage in the arts, culture and architecture; 
  • we create a safe environment for tourists; 
  • we make our visa applications processes more accessible and more efficient; 
  • we increase domestic travel by the young and the old in our society so that we can all get to know our country, and
  • each of us become our country’s ambassador wherever we go   
The tourism sector, just like the many other sectors of society, still faces the challenge of transformation. It is still characterised by low participation of black people and women. Access to market for small and medium enterprises remains marginal. It is these and other challenges that we will work together to ensure that we resolve them so that we can create a more inclusive tourism sector.

Again, I invite all the stakeholders to work with us to ensure that we create a growing and transformed, inclusive tourism economy.  

Lastly, I would like to repeat my message that let us work together to restore our democratic institutions and return our country to a path of transformation, growth and development. Let us Grow South Africa together!

I thank you.