South African tourism minister, Tokozile Xasa, met with Minister of Small Business Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, to discuss how they will work together to advance the tourism sector and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the greater mandate of the NDP. “Tourism is overarching and cuts across many sectors. We need to work together with various government departments, as enablers and influencers of tourism destination competitiveness, to grow and transform our sector and economy,” said Minister Xasa.
“Tourism as a priority sector has the ability to contribute to economic growth by providing employment opportunities, and a conducive and sustainable environment for Small and Medium Enterprises to thrive.”
“As a Department, we support the growth and development of small enterprises in our sector through exposure to platforms such as INDABA, and similar international trade shows,” said Xasa. Minister of Small Business Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, echoed the sentiment in her commitment to working with Tourism and advancing small enterprises. “The critical focus of the current government is the eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Small and medium enterprises play an important role in addressing these challenges. “”The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) is encouraged by the focus that our sister Department of Tourism (NDT) is making in the development of SMEs in the sector.”
“As DSBD we are committed to working with tourism to ensure that the benefits and value of tourism growth is shared by all. We will ensure that provision is made for small businesses that are owned, managed and operated by black people, women and the youth across the breadth and depth of our country,” said Zulu.
Minister Xasa will host similar meetings with other departments in the near future to forge partnerships and collaboration that will streamline the implementation and realisation of the goals set out in the NDP.
“I look forward to engaging with my counterparts in the various departments, focusing on the tourism value chain, and how we can collaborate to create employment opportunities for women and youth, in particular, reduce poverty and inequality,” concluded Xasa.
This article was written by KRISTIE OMAR.