Economic transformation at the top of SA tourism agenda

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa says all stakeholders in the tourism sector must work together to pursue the all-important radical economic transformation.

“Economic transformation needs to be the actual regeneration and re-engineering of the net national social and economic agendas, in significant and meaningful ways that influence the structure of the economy to influence the economic relationship between the old-order and the new social leadership class,” Minister Xasa said.

Addressing the Inaugural Tourism Transformation Summit held at Kopanong Conference centre in Benoni, Minister Xasa said a lot more still needs to be done to achieve economic freedom.

Minister Xasa said transformation of the economy and the sector is a task for all, including the public sector, private sector and communities.

“Economic transformation is the active campaign and agenda to radically shift the terms of economic engagement, to empower the poor majority and the previously economically marginalised,” the Minister said.

Minister Xasa said her department, working with sector stakeholders, has put in place a number of tools in line with the vision of ‘Leading sustainable tourism for inclusive economic growth in South Africa’.

“Government cannot achieve transformation by itself. The private sector has a significant role to play and contribution to make. This includes, but is not limited to, direct empowerment through implementation of the codes,” Minister Xasa said.

According to the Department of Tourism, the two day summit is expected to offer the sector a platform to reflect and engage on the current state of transformation in the tourism, with a view of finding solutions that will promote its advancement.

More than 350 delegates are attending the summit, which is poised to not only set the tone for transformation, but will promote business linkages and share transformative investment opportunities and information on how tourism SMMEs and black-owned entities can access funding mechanisms to succeed in the sector.

In the 2016/17 financial year, the department, together with the Tourism B-BBEE Council, embarked on a new baseline study project to establish the current state of transformation in the tourism sector.

The findings of the study show that generally the tourism sector, while having made strides, is still performing poorly in transformation, particularly around the priority elements such as ownership, Skills Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development of the Tourism B-BBEE Codes. –

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