Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has called on real estate developers to invest and partner with communities to stimulate inclusive growth and development in South Africa.
Addressing the Real Estate Development Summit in Johannesburg, Kubayi-Ngubane said while South Africa is endowed with many a great landscape and diverse culture, because of the country’s unfortunate history, spatial development has tended to favour big cities and urban centres in general.
As such real estate in small towns and rural areas is not developed.
“This poses great challenges for the supply side of our tourist industry in terms of providing the necessary facilities for tourists to access all the tourist attractions without hindrance.
"This is a great opportunity for real estate developers to invest and partner with communities to stimulate inclusive growth and development throughout South Africa,” she told those attending the conference on Thursday.
The Minister said tourism in the country has been growing steadily since the onset of the democratic dispensation. She welcomed the additions to the list of South Africa’s visa-free countries, including Qatar and New Zealand among others.
“In adding these countries to the other 75 countries that already enjoy this status, our government is doing all it can to remove all obstacles for visitors destined for our country.”
Turning her attention to the National Tourism Safety Strategy, the Minister said the development of the strategy is at an advanced stage.
“We are at an advanced stage of developing the National Tourism Safety strategy working with the SAPS [South African Police Service], provinces, local government and members of the sector. This in response to the concern that has been raised by those who want to visit our country, that they would like the issue of safety to be given attention,” said the Minister.
The department is investing in the development of skills for both commercial and residential real estate management.
“This will ensure that we make your industry sustainable whilst creating jobs for our youths. All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that we increase the number of international tourist arrivals into South Africa,” said the Minister.
The Minister urged investors to submit their suggestions to government, which is striving to create an enabling environment.
“There are areas in which you might have more information as industry players than us as government, and these are areas in which we will need your guidance. Our door is always open for suggestions and criticism that will help us to build a prosperous South Africa,” said the Minister. – SAnews.gov.za