Opportunities for youth in tourism

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cape Town – Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa says the department will intensify its efforts to help women and young people from townships to get business opportunities in the sector, as government makes a push for an inclusive economy.

The Deputy Minister said this when she held an imbizo in Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha on Wednesday.

The imbizo was aimed at giving a platform for communities to interact with local leaders and members of the Western Cape Tourism executive in an effort to promote active participation in tourism initiatives.

“For us to realise radical economic transformation, we must have inclusive growth and this inclusive economic growth does not mean you will be counted as statistics, it means you must participate,” she said.

She said there are several programmes that the department runs that are aimed at empowering young people in the hospitality sector, such as the Social Responsibility Implementation Programme.

The programme is aimed at supporting the development of community based tourism, thereby stimulating job creation, sector transformation, economic empowerment, community benefit and geographic spread of tourism investment.

Deputy Minister Xasa said programmes like these will work only if there is an integration within the tourism sector – where the private sector partners with government to stimulate township economic activity.

“We also want to find a way where, even in terms of our learnership and internship programmes, we can have our young people trained in the B&Bs. That is how we want to open up opportunities.”

She said she wanted to see black people access more opportunities in the tourism sector.

The Deputy Minister commended EZASE-KASI, an initiative that is aimed at promoting and enabling township entrepreneurs to unlock their full potential by linking them to major players in the private sector. 

“We are very proud to work with the Khayelitsha Development Forum and EZASE-KASI because they started a very unique concept of boosting the township economy. We were there at their launch and they were so well received by the tourism industry.”

The Deputy Minister was joined by the Small Business Development Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks.

Deputy Minister Thabethe told Khayelitsha residents to increase their focus on starting their own businesses instead of being job seekers.

She said the National Development Plan envisages small businesses to create 11 million jobs by 2030.

The department, the Deputy Minister said, had several programmes aimed at supporting small businesses. She said residents should get together and organise themselves into cooperatives and approach the department and its entities like the Small Enterprise Development Agency and Small Enterprise Finance Agency to apply for financial and non-financial business support.

Human Settlements Deputy Minister Kota-Fredericks said to promote inclusivity, the department has set aside 30% of all work in the construction sector to women contractors, while 10% of the opportunities have been reserved for young people.

Communications Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said her department is responsible for communicating the good South African stories and disseminating information.

She said the department was tasked with helping residents to access information on government programmes that would enable them to know how to access opportunities. – SAnews.gov.za