House Chairperson, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, hon Fish Mahlalela, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism, hon Supra Mahumapelo, and members of portfolio committee, Members of Executive Council, MECs, responsible for tourism, chairperson and members of the Southern
Africa Tourism, Sat, Board, Director-General, Victor Tharage, acting-chief executive officer, CEO, of Sat senior management of the department, together with the SA Tourism, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Twenty-five-years-ago, the people of our beautiful country and the world celebrated the birth of South Africa's constitutional democracy. The ascendance of our icon Nelson Mandela to the high position of President of the democratic South Africa inspired hope not only for our country, but for the rest of the world, that indeed good can triumph over evil.
It is therefore fitting that as l stand here before you, we are also celebrating Mandela month under the theme "Action against Poverty". This is a fitting theme given the task before us to overcome the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality that beset our country. Hence, we are making a call that says, working together; we can grow the economy through tourism.
Tourism has an important role to play in placing our economy on a sustainable inclusive growth trajectory. Globally, tourism has demonstrated a higher growth rate than any other sector, with arrivals in emerging economies up to 2030 projected to grow at double the rate of advanced economies. Locally, the growth of the tourism sector has been a boon for our economy.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the 2018 contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa, directly accounted for 2,8% of real gross domestic product, GDP, which amounts to R139 billion and this is projected to grow to R145,3 billion for 2019.
The indirect contribution of the tourism sector to our economy's GDP in 2018 stood at an even higher 8,2%, which captures the strong economic links to the demand and supply side that the sector has with other sectors of the South African economy.
In addition, the tourism sector direct employment accounted for 4,2% of total employment in the South African economy in 2018 and this is projected to increase to 709 000 jobs in 2019, while
tourism's indirect contribution to total employment stood at 9,2% for 2018.
A sustainable tourism economy requires balanced performance in respect of both international and domestic tourism.
In his state of the nation address, President Ramaphosa outlined an ambitious target of more than doubling our international arrivals to 21 million by 2030. To achieve this international arrival target, the growth rate of international arrivals needs to increase to over 4% in the short run and be consistently be maintained in excess of 6% until 2030.
Setswana se are; "moeng goroga re je ka wena".
While our international arrivals have grown over the last two decades, our share of the global 1.4 billion international tourism arrivals in 2018 leaves room for significant international market growth.
Our current share of the large outbound markets such as China, Indian and Nigeria is low. Statistics SA reports that South Africa attracted an estimated 96 000 tourists from China in 2018 and managed to attract 93 000 tourists from India for the same period. Similarly, we managed to attract about 53 000 tourists from Nigeria.
This gives us a great opportunity to increase our market penetration in these large outbound tourist markets globally, with great prospects for growing the number of international tourists and therefore, our renewed focus in this market, we project that our efforts will generate an increase in the share of international arrivals to South Africa from China to over 9% of our total international tourist composition. We also project an increase of the share of international arrivals from India to over 7% of our total international tourist composition.
To achieve this, we will position South Africa as a China and India friendly tourism destination through relevant content reviewed platforms and a comprehensive China and India Readiness programme, developed in close partnership with the private
sector. We plan to use technological platforms such as WeChat and Alipay, for ease of access to the Chinese market.
The establishment of an air transport link between South Africa and India will receive our utmost attention. We will be engaging with various airlines to explore this possibility.
In 2018, South Africa recorded a total arrivals figure of
7,8 million from within the African continent, which represents the largest percentage of international arrivals to South Africa. We will create and share first-hand information to promote South Africa.
Initiatives that will be driving will include partnering with online travel agencies, targeting the leisure market, partnerships with South African product owners to drive affordable family packages and delegate boosting at exhibitions, association meetings and business chambers.
The European market remains an important market for us as the tourism sector. Visitors from Europe can easily get visas that
allow them to stay for 90-days. The closeness of the time zone between south and European countries is actually one of the areas that make it a destination for choice for the European visitors.
We shall do our very best to ensure that we remove all obstacles for tourists to enjoy their journey to South Africa. In this regard, we are happy to report that recent visa waiver for Russia and Angola had a positive impact on the number of international travellers who graced our shores.
We are also encouraged with the announcement made by the Minister, Motsoaledi, that South Africa's new e-visa system is expected to be launched within this financial year. This demonstrates that close collaboration between the two departments can lead to a positive economic impact, which augurs well with priority of the sixth administration of working together to grow our economy.
As we anticipate an increase in foreign tourist arrivals, we are aware that their primary concerns are safety and security.
We are at an advanced stage of developing the National Tourism Safety Strategy working with the SA Police Service, SAPS, provinces, local government and members of the sector and I must report that, yesterday at the Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting, Minmec, MECs did indicate that we have to make sure that we respond faster on this issue.
In response to some of the issues raised with me by tourists on social media platforms and other interactions, we are also engaging the private sector to work with us to make our country an attractive destination, for an example, access to broadband connectivity has become a basic need for the world's population and in light of some challenges in this area. We are engaging with mobile network operators to make broadband accessible, so that all those who visits our destinations are able to have to be able to make a call and send an email.
Further, we are also engaging them to make SIM cards easily accessible to those who do not wish to roam while enjoying their holiday in our country.
Ka Sepedi re re: "Lesogana le le sa etego le nyala kgait?edi."
Domestic tourism remains under strain and its potential is yet to be fully exploited. This is because of several challenges on both the supply side and the demand side. On the supply side, challenges include inflexible product offering and competitive pricing. The poor performance of our economy and rising cost of living has had a negative impact on the demand side of domestic travel. Equally, our relatively poor contribution of domestic tourism relates to a history where unrestricted mobility and travel were the privilege of a few.
In the next few weeks, we will be aggressive in our strategy working with provinces, and all other stakeholders to increase and make sure that South Africans travel their own country. We are saying to South Africans, you are not fated to labour without rest. We would like to say to them that the beauty of the landscapes, our rich cultural diversity and our heritage, from ancient city of Mapungubwe to Robben Island, from the
Kgalagadi to Makhonjwa Mountains, is our common property from which all of us must feed to nurture our humanity. Simply put, let's all become tourists.
We will be partnering with private sector to create programmes to market a diversity of travel packages for South Africans of all ages and from all walks of life. I must that look out for an exciting campaign that is coming on the domestic market, which in due course will be launched, which we will be announcing with the retail sector that is aimed at creating opportunities for South Africans to travel their country.
We invite the financial services sector to support the tourism sector by creating financial products, such as travel for stockvels that will enable South Africans to save for travel and to make available travel packages that will make travelling more affordable for lower to middle income population group.
We also intend establishing a national tourism visitor and information management system that will, amongst other things,
provide an affordable booking and transaction system and market access for a range of tourist facilities.
Globally, countries celebrate the 27th September annually as Tourism Day. Domestic tourism activities and activations take place during the month of September to highlight the critical role of tourism in growing the economy and developing critical skills for the sector. We are looking forward to more South Africans joining us in this campaign.
The department will continue to implement programmes aimed at growing our economy and development of capabilities of South Africans across the tourism value chain. Work is currently underway to develop a comprehensive tourism infrastructure plan in anticipation of future growth of the sector.
Under this project four tourism master plans will be developed
i.e. in Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, Hondeklipbaai to Port Nolloth, Sutherland to Carnarvon, and Orange River Mouth to Vioolsdrift.
We will intensify our efforts to accelerate economic transformation and job creation, through the development of tourism enterprises. In this connection, the department has continued to implement Enterprise Development Programmes to transform the sector and provide developmental support to rural tourism enterprises over the medium-term.
The programme comprises Hub-based Tourism Incubation Support and offsite national support for Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise, SMME. The establishment of the Tourism Incubation Programme has been identified as one of the elements of the Enterprise Development and Support Programme.
In 2017, four incubators were established in the following areas: Pilanesberg in the Bojanala District, Manyeleti in Ehlanzeni District, Phalaborwa under Mopani District, and Mier under ZF Mgcawu District.
We will also implement the South African National Parks, SANParks, Contractor Incubator in the following national parks: Kruger National Park; Addo National Park; Marakele National
Park; Golden Gate National Park and Kgalagadi National Park. SMMEs and co- operatives from communities surrounding the parks will be incubated to enable them to set up sustainable projects.
Through the Green Tourism Incentive Programme, we aim to encourage tourism enterprises to move towards sustainable management of water and energy resources as part of responsible tourism practices. Overall, we are steadily increasing activities in the tourism sector aimed at mitigating climate change.
Another programme that we have is the Tourism Transformation Fund that we do in collaboration with the National Empowerment Fund, NEF, which was introduced in 2016. We have looked at these programmes. We are identifying the weaknesses and we are working on rebranding and together reconfiguring the programme. The department will continue to implement the Working for Tourism Programme through the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP.
In the last financial year, about 3 000 full time equivalent jobs were achieved. This financial year we aim to achieve 4 331
full time equivalent jobs. We are acknowledging the challenges that have been in this programme and we believe that we have past that bridge.
We are also mindful of the fact the disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are upon us and we will be working together with the Fourth Industrial Revolution Commission, established by the President to look at the impact to our sector.
Transformation in the sector remains a big challenge and it is an area that will continue to receive our attention. Transformation programmes will focus on five priority areas namely, ownership, management control, skills development, enterprise and supplier development, as well as socio-economic development.
We are proud to say that the women in Tourism Programme is one of our flagship programme that has been doing very well and we believe that learning from such initiatives will be able to build on a solid foundation for other programmes
I therefore call upon all the sectors to join us and embrace transformation in the sector and also appreciate Tourism Marketing South Africa, Tomsa, as an initiative that has done very well that is initiated by the sector. We will continue to work closely with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa and other stakeholders to deliver on the mandate of 21 million targets.
It is important to indicate that we currently have the draft Tourism Amendment Bill which is under public comments. It was approved by Cabinet and has been gazetted and we have now extended the time to the 15th July 2019. We actually aim to complete this Bill within this financial year.
The department will work on the development of a 5-year strategic plan that will inform the overall tourism agenda for the sixth administration. SA Tourism will continue to implement its marketing activities to promote South Africa.
The department's Budget allocation for 2019-20 is R2,393 billion of which R1,554 billion is for transfers and subsidies. It is important to note that 53% of the Budget goes to Sat.
The department has received a baseline increase of R67 million, over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, for the EPWP incentives and also has experienced the baseline reduction of R33,2 million for the Tourism Incentive Programme within the MTEF and also R54,8 million baseline reduction for SA Tourism within the MTEF.
These base line reductions are as a result of the constrained fiscus and sustained poor performance of the South African economy. The journey to economic recovery will not be easy but working together, we can grow our economy. In the words of the former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah who said and I quote:
Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge - a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the
courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank, Deputy Minister, Fish Mahlalela for the support, the chairperson and members of the portfolio committee. I also thank the director-general of the department and the entire staff actually for their warm welcome into the portfolio and the broad sector
We are also here members to say if we can join hands together and work as partners, we will be able to grow the economy through tourism.
I hereby table Budget Vote No. 33 from the Department of Tourism, together with priorities for financial 2019-20. I thank you.