South African parliament calls for transforming tourism industry


South Africa’s Parliament on Thursday called for the transformation of the tourism industry so as to allow more black ownership.

The slow pace of transformation was mainly caused by resistance by the established tourism companies and the indecisiveness of the government to deal with transformation, Supra Mahumapelo, chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism.

He was speaking after meeting with the Tourism B-BBEE Charter Council to get acquainted with the transformation of the tourism industry. The B-BBEE, or Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, is a form of economic empowerment initiated by the South African government to allow more black ownership in the economy.

Mahumapelo said his committee raised its concerns about the slow pace of transformation in the tourism industry.

An innovative intervention is required to provide industry disruptors which will facilitate the entrance of new players into the sector, he said.

Transformation should incorporate transformation programs which will ensure, enable and sustain new entrants into the tourism sector, Mahumapelo said.

At the center should be the participation of black people, inclusive of women, youth and people living with disabilities, with the aim of eradicating poverty, inequality and unemployment through tourism, said Mahumapelo.

South Africa’s tourism economy, the largest in Africa, indirectly contributed about 1.5 million jobs (9.2 percent of South Africa’s employment) and 425.8 billion rand (about 28.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, accounting for 8.6 percent of the country’s GDP, according to the latest figures provided by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Enditem

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