May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize: Home Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2017/18

Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize: Home Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2017/18
17 May 2017
Speech by Home Affairs Minister, Hon. Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, On the occasion of the Budget Vote for the Department of Home Affairs
Theme: “Secure and Efficient Service to the People”
Honourable Chairperson
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee
Honourable Members of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee
Honourable Members
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and gentlemen,
DHA’s Mandate, Values and Principles
It is indeed a singular honour to present to you the budget of the Department of Home Affairs for 2017/18. I would like to thank my predecessor Minister Gigaba as well as Deputy Minister Chohan, the DG Mr. Apleni and the officials for the work done to date to improve departmental systems and processes. As such we have a few centres of excellence with improved infrastructure and enhanced service delivery through the use of technology.
Having said that, it is important to acknowledge that we still have a long walk towards establishing a secure and efficient Home Affairs that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. We draw strength from the knowledge that in this country, no government, before 1994, systematically recorded the births and deaths of all citizens or focused on promoting the wellbeing of all citizens, regardless of race, gender or class.
We approach this task with seriousness and vigilance given the great importance of the Department of Home Affairs in the lives of our people. The core mandate of the department is to secure and confirm our identity and citizenship. Securing the identity and status of every citizen is part of our journey towards socio-economic transformation and the restoration of the dignity of our citizens in line with the Constitution of the Republic.
Consequently, we touch citizens’ lives from the cradle to the grave, starting with the registration of infants within 30 days of birth. After birth certificates, we issue IDs that enable citizens to do various transactions, like opening an account, applying for a business licence or registering for a course. Secured documents, like passports, also ensure our people are treated with respect even when they travel outside the country.
One may ask: ‘What kind of department and officials should the nation trust with managing identity and international migration?’
Ultimately, what people expect is a secure and efficient service transformed by abundance of technologies and innovation.
The values of the DHA are clearly stated in the Annual Performance Plan that is before you today. The department and every official must be:
1. People-centred and caring
2. Patriotic
3. Professional and having integrity
4. Corruption-free and ethical
5. Efficient and innovative
6. Disciplined and security conscious
It is fitting that we dedicate this budget vote speech to a radical, visionary and resilient servant of the people of South Africa, Oliver Reginald Tambo: an outstanding internationalist and humanist of great courage and integrity. He showed us that if you live by correct values you can mobilise others and overcome huge difficulties. He freely moved in and out of different countries, small and big cities but was never stopped because of his compliance with the laws and was never doubted or seen as a security risk.
To ensure that his values and principles are appreciated within this department we have launched the Moetapele Leadership programme. This is also to motivate the staff to show leadership and help resolve problems faced every day by citizens and other clients.
Chairperson, allow me to share with you examples where officials have indeed shown leadership and commitment by volunteering to work on days when their offices are normally closed. The chairperson of the DHA Youth Forum, Ms Yolanda Mitchel, and the Harrison Street office manager, Mr Leslie Ramonetha, led a campaign to ensure busy taxi-drivers can apply for smart ID cards. Officials volunteered to open the office on Sundays and taxi associations were contacted. Over two Sundays 105 drivers applied for their new IDs.
Led by Ms Pearl Poto, the office manager, volunteer officials from the Soweto office worked two weekends at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and registered a total of 404 new births. Four volunteer officials led by office manager Ms Ntebatse Matenche of the Kempton Park office processed 68 ID applications for school pupils. The spirit of OR Tambo is indeed alive.
Another good example is from our Client Service Centre that has replaced the Call Centre we used to outsource. Most calls are straightforward, but many have to do with serious problems of identity that are a legacy of the colonial migrant labour system and the destruction of families.
The department has resolved that the highest priority must be put on people and we are indeed investing in the development of our officials. An accredited Learning Academy was established; where staff members receive tailor-made training programmes, including the National Certificate: Home Affairs Services. The training plays a key role in the introduction of new digital systems.
The Academy also runs youth empowerment programmes for cadets and interns that help many to gain the experience they need to find employment. Creative partnerships with institutions of higher learning in the spirit of the National Development Plan (NDP), will go a long way in the enhancement of training programmes we offer.
Honourable Chairperson,
Last year there were commitments made to this House by my predecessor; and you voted the department a total of R8.1 billion for operations and projects. This included R1.7 billion that was transferred to the Independent Electoral Commission and R134 million to the Represented Political Parties’ Fund.
There were five strategic priorities:
Modernisation Programme
We committed to complete the modernisation programme to fully replace outdated systems that are not secure or efficient. On this priority area, the task was to replace around 38 million green-barcoded ID books with secured smart ID cards over five years and we exceeded the target by a projected 498 000 cards issued. By the end of March 2017, the total number of smart ID cards issued was over 2.6 million making a total of 6.8 million cards issued to date.
Furthermore, the e-HomeAffairs online application platform for smart ID cards and passports was improved to speed up the replacement of the existing green-barcoded IDs by smart ID cards. We hope to strengthen our partnership with the four banks participating in this project.
The enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS) is also being rolled out at busy airports to capture biometrics of travellers and those travelling with children.
Upgrade of Six of the Largest Land Ports of Entry
We committed to upgrade six of the largest land ports of entry: Lebombo, Oshoek, Beitbridge, Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg and Kopfontein. Working with National Treasury a transaction advisor was appointed to develop a Public-Private Partnership solution, and this has been achieved.
Border Management Authority Bill
The department was charged also with establishing a Border Management Authority, to efficiently manage the country’s Ports of Entry and the border line. This was after His Excellency President Jacob Zuma made this commitment in 2009, that we will establish a Border Management Agency.
Cabinet formally resolved to establish the BMA in June 2013 and consequently endorsed a vision for the BMA in 2014.
A major achievement was that the Border Management Authority Bill was completed after extensive engagements within government, NEDLAC and broader society. Cabinet has approved the Bill and it is now going through parliamentary processes.
Improving the Country’s International Migration Policy
We prioritised improving South Africa’s international migration policy to speak to the current environment, supporting economic, social and cultural development. Still recounting last year’s achievements, I am pleased to announce officially that Cabinet has approved the White Paper on International Migration.
Honourable Members,
Priorities Going Forward
As set out in the NDP Vision 2030, the department directly contributes to economic restructuring, growth and job creation. Appropriately, we have set strategic targets, against an Annual Performance Plan and a realistic budget that this House is to vote on. We trust that targets for 2017/18 will contribute to achieving our strategic objectives that are aligned to national priorities.
Accordingly, for 2017/18 the total vote allocated is R7.1 billion, of which R1.2 billion was transferred to the IEC and R141 million to the Represented Political Parties Fund.
The Business Case for a New Home Affairs
Honourable Chairperson,
The department’s key strategic areas are those of civic and immigration services. We are living in an era wherein all operations are executed within a digital realm. We are making inroads into the modernisation programme which was launched to develop secure integrated digital systems managed strategically by professionals.
Consequently, our work is highly dependent on information technology, and this critical component is voted R834 million to maintain transversal systems.
Much has been done to improve the DHA as an organisation, modernise its systems, combat corruption and deliver better services. For the 2017/18 financial year we have a total allocation of R519 million earmarked for the modernisation programme.
It was a historic moment for the department when on 1 March 2017 Cabinet announced the approval of a new business case for the department, stating that:
“The Department must be positioned within the security system of the state so that it contributes to national security and is able to protect its people, systems and data. This will enable the department to deliver against its full mandate as a critical enabler of inclusive economic development, national security, effective service delivery and efficient administration.”
A Discussion Paper on the Repositioning of Home Affairs, based on the Business Case, will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday 19 May 2017. Substantive comments can be submitted until 30 September 2017 and we will be engaging with stakeholders. These inputs will inform the drafting of a White Paper on the Repositioning of Home Affairs which will guide the drafting of future DHA legislation.
It is crucial that citizens and organisations express their views on the kind of DHA that can best serve and protect them. Over and above public consultation around the repositioning, I have taken a considered decision to increase my public participation programmes.
Building a new National Identity System
We commit to finalise the design of a National Identity System (NIS) that will replace the National Population Register, which dates back to the 1980s.
The new National Identity System will be a secure integrated system recording identities and status of all persons who visit or reside in South Africa.
All systems of the DHA will be automated and connected to the NIS. In this regard, one of the new targets for 2017/18 is piloting of the full scope of biometrics at a port of entry. This entails improving the movement control system and digitising citizenship and amendment processes.
As part of this process, the department has discontinued the manual processing of passports. Therefore passports can only be acquired through the 179 live capture offices across the country.
Digitisation of Records
Over the years, among the factors impacting on proficient provision of public services to all our people has been a lack of efficient records management. Therefore, we will step-up the phased digitisation of records using the earmarked R10 million per annum received from Treasury. The process commenced in the previous financial year through a partnership with Statistic South Africa.
South Africa has the capacity to modernise. For example, using technology as an enabler, we transformed our office in Marabastad which was notorious for being overcrowded into the world class Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre, launched by President J.G Zuma early this year. It is fitting that we named the centre after an icon of human rights. The centre is now conducive for DHA officials to improve services as a result of cutting-edge technologies installed. Overcrowding has drastically decreased and efficiency improved.
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths
Work on civic services is voted R2.4 billion. The registration of 750 000 births within 30 days, as legally required, is a key target. This represents about 74% of estimated births and anything less than 100% carries risks and compromises the population register. Currently, we have more than 300 health institutions with network hospital connectivity with an additional 80 lines to be upgraded this year. In addition, this year we will connect 26 offices with live capture functionality for Births, Marriages and Deaths (BMD).
National Study on Challenges in Early Birth Registration
Compliance remains a challenge and with the assistance of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation a national study is being conducted to look at causes and propose solutions for late registration of birth. Key partners include the Department of Health.
Intensifying smart ID card roll-out
The target for issuing smart ID cards has been increased from the 2.2 million of 2016/17 to 3 million in 2017/18, based on the number of counters in the 279 offices that to date have been fitted with the new digital system. The number of offices will be increased by a further 14 offices with paperless, automated issuance of smart ID cards and passports.
Expanding our Mobile Footprint
As we rollout the live capture system in existing offices, we will continue to explore ways of expanding our office footprint to reach out to communities in the rural and remote areas. As an interim measure, the department has deployed 115 mobile units countrywide. We have also started a tender process for a mobile solution which will capacitate mobile units to receive applications for smart ID cards and passports.
Immigration Services: Permitting
R1.2 billion is set aside for immigration services. The turnaround standard set last year of 85% of permits delivered within eight months will be maintained.
The target for adjudicating temporary residence visas increased to 90% within eight weeks for business and general work visas. We are committing to improving the target for critical skills visas by 5%, to 80% adjudicated within four weeks.
Continued Work on Land Ports
The project to upgrade our six largest land ports of entry will continue with the department engaging National Treasury on securing service providers. This massive infrastructure development project will contribute to radical economic transformation whilst improving trade within the SADC region.
Border Management Authority
While completing the legislative process, the Border Management Authority project office will continue with the development of a detailed roadmap and blueprint.
An integrated border management strategy has been developed and will be implemented in phases. The introduction of the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill, 2016 represents a radical shift from the colonial and apartheid systems that were based on the inhuman exploitation of subjugated peoples.
International Migration Policy
The transformation of South Africa’s international migration policy is among the major priorities of the department. Therefore, we are focusing on implementing the White Paper approved by Cabinet in March 2017. This is an important milestone for South Africa. The recent amendments to immigration legislation require investors who establish businesses in South Africa to make sure that 60% or more of their employees are South African and that skills are transferred to citizens.
In the shorter term, however, urgent amendments to the immigration and refugees acts are needed to address immediate challenges. This policy development process should result into a comprehensive overhaul of immigration and refugees legislation.
For the first time our country will have an immigration policy that is focused on development and on Africa; and that enables risks to be managed proactively. Much work was also done to ease travel for investors and businesses to promote economic development in our country and the region.
For instance, in 2015, the department announced a 10-year multiple entry visa for our BRICS partners, and in 2016, a 10-year multiple entry visa was granted for business and academics from the African continent.
It is in this way that we may pursue the goals of the African Union Agenda 2063 regarding the envisaged promotion of free trade, movement of people, goods and services in the continent. Similarly, all AU Member States are working on immigration regimes which will not compromise the security of other states.
Uprooting Systematic Corruption
We are intensifying our all-out fight against corruption in all its manifestations. IDs, passports and birth certificates have high value and the DHA is under constant attack by local and international criminal syndicates. Cybercrime is also on the rise.
We will strengthen the work of our Counter Corruption unit, of uprooting fraud, bribery and corruption inside and outside the system. This work we will do through “Bvisa Masina” – cleaning the rot – programme, which was launched in 2015.
Since its launch, there has been 166 arrests for fraud and other crimes: with 85 officials arrested and 81 members of the public, either working alone or for syndicates. This work we will fast-track and develop in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
Honourable Chairperson,
Before concluding, I must speak to the important work done by the entities that receive funds via the DHA. I would like to reiterate the Department and Government’s view that the IEC’s independence remains of paramount importance, in order for it to continue to entrench the hard-fought democracy our country enjoys today.
Government Printing Works
The Government Printing Works is a success story for the country. This is a highly efficient self-funded organisation that produces, amongst others, your new secure passports and smart ID cards. The GPW is positioning itself as a high-security printer of official documents in any medium and contributes to security and credibility of government. In this regard they require two bills that will be tabled in this house. The GPW State Owned Company Bill will be tabled this year and the Security Printers Bill will be tabled in the 2018/19 financial year.
Together, we move South Africa forward
Honourable Members,
This I must emphasise: to make a breakthrough on our strategic objectives, we need strong partnerships across a range of stakeholders, embracing community representatives, non-governmental organisations, faith based organisations, traditional leadership, business, UN-based organisations and broader society.
Particular focus is also required on the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. It is important to combat gender violence and abuse including human trafficking, abductions and marriages of convenience.
I wish to express my thanks for the many valuable inputs that were made in response to the Green paper on International Migration during its development stage; and to SADC Ministers who participated at the International Migration conference in March.
We greatly appreciate the support we enjoyed from the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs under the leadership of Hon. Mashile and the Select Committee on Social Services led by Hon. Dlamini.
In conclusion, I am confident that this House understands that the Department of Home Affairs is a strategic resource for enabling the empowerment of citizens, the inclusive socio-economic development of our economy and efficient and accountable government. It is these noble commitments that spurred us this year to adopt as the theme for the budget debate – “Secure and Efficient Service to the People!”
I thank you!

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Gigaba re-enters fray with Oppenheimers’ Fireblade

Gigaba re-enters fray with Oppenheimers’ Fireblade
18 May 2017 – Business Day
Fireblade is seeking to review his decision as home affairs minister to block customs and immigration services at its terminal at OR Tambo
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has re-entered a legal battle between the Department of Home Affairs and Oppenheimer aviation company Fireblade over a rejected application for customs and immigration services at its OR Tambo terminal.
Fireblade is seeking to review a decision by then home affairs minister Gigaba in November, denying customs and immigration services at its “seven-star” terminal at OR Tambo — a decision the company maintained was taken after pressure was exerted by the Gupta family.
Fireblade wants on-site immigration and customs services at its terminal.
It blames the Gupta family for several “flip flops” in support from both Denel, which is the lessor, and the department.
Fireblade maintains the Guptas initially sought to press the company into including a black empowerment partner. Once this failed, it used its influence on the lessor to press Gigaba to deny the application.
At the centre of the dispute is whether the terminal is a port of entry, a status held by ports, airports and border crossings. Fireblade, however, has not requested this status.
Gigaba has now gone into more detail to explain his reasoning, maintaining the application is “in substance” one for a port of entry.
When Fireblade sought the review, Gigaba was then the home affairs minister. He was reshuffled to the finance portfolio at the end of March and replaced by Hlengiwe Mkhize.
In April, Gigaba, after consultation with Mkhize, filed an affidavit again strongly denying he ever met any member of the Gupta family to discuss Fireblade’s application.
In a replying affidavit filed on May 11, Fireblade argues the department has failed to address “curious terminology” used in the department’s replying affidavit filed in February.
In the February affidavit, the department centred its decision to reject Fireblade’s application on the basis that it could not approve a port of entry. Approval of the terminal as a new port of entry would be tantamount to using public resources for private purposes, sentiments again expressed by Gigaba in the April affidavit.
Fireblade contends it had clearly requested extended customs services and the department “misconstrued” the issue.
In a replying affidavit filed in the High Court in Pretoria on May 11 Fireblade director Robbie Irons maintains the department failed to address concerns over the alleged influence of the Gupta family on departmental decisions. The affidavit accuses him of “unconvincing denials” and a seeming lack of interest in the manner in which Denel consistently changed its mind.
Denel has denied this.

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Home Affairs prioritising immigration policy

Home Affairs prioritising immigration policy
2017-05-17 – News24
Higher education systems in Southern Africa are not growing to meet the demands of the burgeoning youth population, deputy higher education minister Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize says
Cape Town – Home Affairs had made improving South Africa’s international migration policy a priority, Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize said on Wednesday.
Cabinet approved the white paper on international migration in March, she said during her department’s budget vote debate in Parliament.
Briefing reporters earlier, she said the white paper replaced a 1999 version which did not address globalisation, migration, and priorities set out in the “National Development Plan, Vision 2030”.
The new paper was intended to provide a policy framework for amending immigration and refugee legislation, to better align these with goals of using migration for development. It would guide managing labour from the SADC region.
“Reviewing and updating immigration policy is critical because it guides how we manage entry, sojourn and departure from the country, to better interact with the rest of the world, in the interests of the nation, its security, and prosperity,” she said.
Mkhize was pleased that the Border Management Authority Bill had gone through the parliamentary process. Last week, most opposition parties scuppered the passing of this bill when they staged a walkout. The ANC did not have enough MPs in the National Assembly to form a quorum.
6 million smart cards
DA MP Haniff Hoosen praised the department for the rollout of six million smart ID cards in four years and the quick turnaround times for passport applications.
However, South Africa’s immigration system was broken. Many people entered South Africa legally, but many did not, he said.
“Most businesses respect our laws and pay their workers a proper wage, but they are also forced to watch others exploit these rules as they pay undocumented immigrants low wages.”
Home affairs could not say how many millions of undocumented immigrants were in the country. An immigration system that was fair, effective and helped grow the economy and create jobs was needed.
“You no longer need to jump a fence, there is no fence,” he said.
Mkhize’s deputy, Fatima Chohan, dedicated her speech to Palestinian prisoners who were on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in protest against the “cruel and unjust occupation” of Palestine.
“Today there are more refugees globally than any time in history, sad to say,” she said.
ANC MP Nokhaya Mnisi said not everyone coming through South Africa’s border had honourable intentions.
“Like the Guptas!” yelled an MP in the opposition benches.
Mnisi said 95% of those claiming asylum in South Africa were not genuine asylum seekers.
“South Africa must be able to refuse asylum to asylum seekers who traversed safe countries,” she said, adding that this was within the United Nations’ rules.

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Home affairs stops manual issuing of passports

Home affairs stops manual issuing of passports
2017-05-17 – Times Live
The Department of Home Affairs says it is phasing out manual passports in a bid to stamp out crime and corruption.
This week‚ 15 unused‚ legitimate South African passports were seized from an al-Shabab courier in Tanzania. The passports bore the photographs of people on the country’s watch list and one bore a striking resemblance to the “white widow” Samantha Lewthwaite.
Home Affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize announced in her department’s budget speech that manually processed passports will no longer be issued‚ and said that people will now have to apply for their passports at one of the country’s 179 live capture sites where photographs and fingerprints are digitally recorded.
Questioned about the Tanzanian passports at a media briefing earlier in the day‚ Home Affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni said smart card IDs and passports had been introduced to phase out fraudulent passport use but up until now‚ manual and digital processes had been running alongside each other.
This system where fingerprints were taken on paper and “the photo is taken under a tree somewhere” created a “gap” where fraud could be committed.
Mkhize said the department was strengthening its fight against corruption.
“IDs‚ passports and birth certificates have high value and the Department is under constant attack by local and international criminal syndicates‚” she said.
She said they would strengthen the work of their counter corruption unit which had since its launch facilitated 166 arrests for fraud and other crimes‚ made up of 85 officials and 81 members of the public‚ working either alone or for syndicates.
Mkhize said the old National Population register would be replaced with a National Identity System‚ as part of her department’s modernisation process. Part of this requires the replacement of 38 million green-barcoded ID books with secure smart ID cards. So far 6.8 million of these cards have been issued.
-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Get cracking on border agency, says home affairs

Get cracking on border agency, says home affairs
18 May 2017 – Business Day
Opposition parties say if Border Management Authority Bill were passed in its present form, it would usurp customs and excise function of South African Revenue Service
The Department of Home Affairs was pushing for the Border Management Authority Bill to be passed through Parliament, Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize said just before her budget vote on Wednesday.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was also keen to see the bill passed, she said.
The ANC, which holds the majority of seats in Parliament, failed to get the bill passed in the National Assembly after the plenary could not secure a quorum to put the bill to vote.
All opposition parties voiced their apprehension that the bill, if it were passed in its present form, would usurp the customs and excise function of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). This crucial function has been a revenue generator for the fiscus, but could be unravelled if it were to be taken over by the proposed Border Management Agency, the establishment of which will be triggered by the adoption of the bill.
Speaking to reporters ahead of her budget vote, Mkhize said the bill had gone through “endless consultation” and had long been approved by the Cabinet. The government could no longer postpone interventions to end SA’s fragmented border management, she said.
“Everyone was unanimous in their support for home affairs to take the lead at the Border Management Agency. There were questions about SARS and customs but after engagement, we agreed on co-ordinated management so that we implement policy that is coherent,” Mkhize said.
Gigaba, her predecessor at home affairs, remained a supporter of the bill, which had pitted him against the Treasury.
While Mkhize said SARS would still be able to manage revenue from excise after the bill was enacted, there was still no clarity whether this would include revenue collection at ports of entry — this is not expressly stated in the bill.
Her budget vote aimed to prioritise the review of SA’s international migration policy.
The Cabinet’s approval of the white paper on international migration would address SA’s policy position on migration.
“The new white paper is important as it will provide a policy framework for amending immigration and refugee legislation [and] better align them to our goals of using migration for development,” she said.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan said the department would consider measures to prevent it falling victim to “malicious litigation”.
Director-general Mkuseli Apleni said other priorities would be to improve the security of documentation and to combat fraud. “We started with smart cards and passports. People were taking passports fraudulently. We issue manual passports and the minister will make an announcement on that, along with measures on fraud,” said Apleni.

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

National campaign launched to galvanise support for tourism

National campaign launched to galvanise support for tourism
17 May 2017 – Tourism Update

The ‘I Do Tourism’ campaign will remind South Africans that tourism is everyone’s business, says SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.
South African Tourism this week launched the ‘I Do Tourism’ (IDT) campaign at Indaba.
The initiative seeks to remind South Africans of the importance of the tourism industry and the role they can play as advocates for South Africa and for tourism.
Opening Indaba on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma endorsed the campaign, highlighting tourism’s growing importance to the economy when other sectors are not performing as well.
The purpose of the campaign, according to SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, is to show the economic and social value of tourism in South Africa. “Tourism has a ripple effect,” Ntshona notes. “Each direct permanent tourism job opportunity that is created can have multiple spin-offs for transport, agriculture and other sectors.”
I Do Tourism will bring this message to the attention of the South African public by reminding them of tourism’s impact on the economy. The campaign will also showcase members of the industry, and provide a space for them to share their stories.
In addition to inspiring potential domestic tourists, SA Tourism is also aiming to motivate industry members to keep up their good work, and to remind government and other stakeholders of the importance of supporting the industry.
According to SA Tourism, while tourism contributes 3% to the nation’s economy and has created around 500 000 jobs, the majority of South Africans remain unaware of how their lives are affected when international travellers decide to visit the country; or even how their own holiday may help to better the lives of other South Africans. The organisation emphasised that, for many South Africans, tourism remained inaccessible and something that was “for other people” and therefore had little bearing on their day-to-day lives.
“This is precisely the attitude we hope to change through I Do Tourism,” Ntshona explains. “We aim to remind South Africans that tourism is everyone’s business because all South Africans benefit through and from tourism. Tourism adds value to the lives of all South Africans in a range of ways. As South Africans, we all have something to gain from the growth and development of our tourism industry. That is why our involvement in rallying behind tourism is vitally important. The continued success of tourism benefits us all.”
The campaign will also seek to draw attention to the fact that the impact of tourism is not industry-specific and that tourism contributes to the growth of sectors ranging from agriculture to transport. In this way, the campaign will emphasise that tourism is integral to the growth and development of the country and it is therefore the duty of every South African to do what they can to support tourism. And that by doing so, they are contributing to the country’s economy.
“Ultimately, I Do Tourism seeks to make South Africans want to get behind tourism by seizing the economic opportunities within the tourism industry or by simply playing their part by making visitors feel welcome and providing assistance where necessary, whether that’s by giving directions or recommending a local attraction. If tourism wins, we all win,” Ntshona said.

May 18, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Minister shares vision for tourism

Minister shares vision for tourism
Tourism Update – 17 May 2017
Transformation and skills development will be key priorities for newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa.
Xasa, who was Deputy Minister for about nine years, and Deputy Tourism Minister, Elizabeth Thabethe, met with industry captains at a breakfast on the sidelines of Indaba on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to Tourism Update after the engagement, Xasa said driving transformation by bringing in new entrants was a key part of her vision. “We need tourism to reach all corners within South Africa,” she said, adding that people who had been excluded in the past regime needed to be brought into the sector.
Xasa said the sector already had a platform to achieve radical economic transformation and that this would be driven by programmes and initiatives, not a change in policy. She used the example of the Hidden Gems, showcased at Indaba through a partnership with SA Tourism and Satsa. Xasa added that the department would seek to leverage South Africa’s growth in new markets to bring new entrants into the sector.
The Minister said it was important to grow the skills base in the country, and that opportunities should be created, especially for the youth and women. She added that while women held many positions within the sector, more women needed to hold positions at executive level.
Going forward, Xasa said that achieving transformation and skills development were key to the sustainability of the sector.
She said she was also confident that, with the roll-out of the ‘I Do Tourism’ campaign, the profile of tourism within the country would be raised. She said that by recognising the contribution all South Africans made to the tourism sector, South Africans would be encouraged to do even more to support the industry.
While Xasa has not yet had a formal meeting with newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, she was confident that the two departments would be able to work together to improve the implementation of immigration regulations that had harmed the tourism industry. She said that as a former ambassador, Mkhize was passionate about tourism. She added that the Immigration Advisory Board would be meeting next week and that progress was being made, with industry input, regarding the implementation of immigration regulations