WESTERN CAPE still remains the least transformed within the tourism sector.
Although it has many tourism products offering, the province stands at 25% in terms of transformation.
This was revealed by the newly appointed Portfolio Committee on Tourism chairperson Tandi Mahambehlala, at her committee report to Parliament.
Limpopo province led the transformation chart with 56% of tourism products owned by black businesses.
It is followed by Mpumalanga at 51% and KwaZulu-Natal at 48%. Free State stands at 31% and Eastern Cape at 39%, respectively.
The committee heard that currently there is no consequence management for non-compliance with B-BBEE codes and that the pace of transformation is slow in small, medium and micro enterprises.
Entities are set a target of an 85% South African staff complement and this non-compliance affects the tourism scorecard.
One of the reasons for this is that the accommodation sector is largely a family-owned and run business and therefore there is no incentive for these owners to transform.
“There must be changes if we want to empower black owned products. And the only way is by enforcing the transformation charter,” says the worried Mahambehlala.
Tourism Transformation Council of South Africa (TTCSA) is a blueprint to provide strategic solutions to transformation challenges. It was established in June 2019 on a 3-year term.
The committee raised its concerns that a limited number of enterprises achieved the 30% black-ownership target and less than 50% of enterprises in the three sub-sectors of accommodation, hospitality and travel achieved the minimum ownership targets.
It reported that the 2018 State of Tourism Transformation Report revealed that the pace and extent of transformation showed non-compliance with the B-BBEE code.
The committee noted the inroads made to empower women in leadership roles with the Executive Women Development Programme implemented in partnership with the University of South Africa (Unisa).
It also called for more focused partnerships with other government departments, such as the Departments of Trade and Industry and of Labour on matters such as compliance with the sector codes and dealing with patterns of employment.
The committee further raised its concern over the low employment rate of South Africans in the tourism industry which impacts on unemployed youth.
The committee was assured that the TTCSA has engaged the Department of Home Affairs to review the scarce skills category for employment of foreigners in this sector.
Mahambehlala said that the number of issues raised by the committee, such as the reporting programmes for the development of women and Western Cape’s failure to transform has been noted and warned the “committee should engage more frequently with the TTCSA than its current yearly meeting”.
Transformation within the tourism sector still remains a thorny issue in SA, and seems it’s a battle to overcome.
Mahambehlala replaced the former NW Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
At the time of publishing Gauteng and other remaining provinces had not provided their stats targets on transformation.
Image (The least transformed province within the tourism sector- Cape Town).