Tourism must embrace all South Africans

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe says more work needs to be done to ensure that the benefits of tourism are accessible to all.

“We must continue the work of MaSisulu and Madiba to promote inclusivity. Tourism must become a sector that embraces all South Africans,” Thabethe said.

Delivering her department’s Budget Vote in Cape Town on Thursday, Thabethe said the South African destination experience relies on the diverse offerings of many enterprises.

“We are also implementing human resource developmental initiatives in a way that will include the participation of more people, with a bias toward developing youth and women.

“The Tourism Sector Strategy was completed in 2017 and has mapped the skills needed by industry, such as chefs training.

“We will continue to provide our National Youth Chefs Training Programme in partnership with the South African Chef Associations (SACA) and other hotels and B&Bs,” the Deputy Minister said.

Thabethe said the programme will enable unemployed youth to gain access to the hospitality industry once they have acquired their three-year qualifications in Professional Cookery and pastry.

“We are happy to announce that this nationwide programme is now in its fifth phase and has benefited a total of 1867 young people. In the past year alone, we have seen 76 young chefs being placed in international hotels in the United States of America and 20 in the Seychelles,” Thabethe said.

Thabethe said the 12 months placement in experiential learning has exposed the youth internationally and has sharpened their culinary skills in French, Portuguese and Italian cuisine, among others, to the extent that four of the young chefs were offered permanent employment in the Seychelles.

Through the US Placement Programme, created in partnership between the National Department of Tourism, Awesome Travel and the South African Chefs Association, have exposed 600 graduates to advanced cookery, restaurant management, hotel management, and financial management skills.

According to Thabethe, this financial year, 755 learners have enrolled in the Chefs Programme and upon graduation in 2020 will receive accreditation.

“I am pleased to report that three weeks ago, our department won an award at the Global Summit of Women in Australia, Sydney, for its Youth Chefs Training Programme recognizing it as a best practice for addressing youth unemployment. Our efforts are indeed bearing fruit,” the Deputy Minister said.

Thabethe said the Youth Hospitality Programme, now in its 4th year of implementation, has already benefited 6 813 unemployed youth. 

“This programme enrols youth in a twelve month learnership of theory and workplace training, leading to the attainment of accredited qualifications in Food and Beverage Services, Accommodation Services and a National Certificate in restaurants. In this financial year, we will recruit and train an additional 2 375 learners,” Thabethe said. –