The SA tourism industry has called on newly-appointed Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko ‘Nkhensani’ Kubayi-Ngubane to continue the legacy of her predecessor, Derek Hanekom, in championing the cause of tourism in South Africa.

Tourism Update spoke to CEO of Cullinan Holdings, Michael Tollman, who said that the industry looked forward to hearing the new ideas that the Minister will bring to the table, and the direction in which she wants to take tourism – as well as providing her with industry views on how to grow tourism.

“We are delighted that the President realises the importance of the tourism industry, and the importance that tourism can have on the economy, and we also understand his focus on ensuring that we have a fair and equitable society. So we look forward to talking to the Minister and how we can share with her our ideas on how we can contribute as an industry, to both ensuring that we can grow our industry, addressing things like visas, addressing areas of growth potential in jobs, and also community support and training. These are the areas that we feel are critical to achieving the President’s vision and in which we are in total agreement with, and will fully support where we can. And we look forward to talking to the Minister around those, and also listening to her and hearing how we can achieve these goals. What we do find encouraging is that the goals set out by the President – we’re in total agreement with, so now it’s a question of how do we go about achieving those goals, and we look forward to working with the Minister on that,” he says.

The Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa, also welcomed the appointment of the new Minister, said GM, Ndiphiwe Ntuli: “She has served in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet before, and is a known player in the Executive, who is familiar with the priorities of the government and our President. We really hope that she will continue where her predecessor, Derek Hanekom, left and continue championing the cause for growth in the tourism sector. As an industry, we look forward to working with her, and to supporting her in her mission for tourism. Minister Hanekom leaves a legacy behind, that we are sure Kubayi-Ngubane will continue with – dealing with the issues that the tourism industry faces, such as immigration and visas. We believe the new Minister starts on a solid foundation, as she takes the lead in driving tourism growth in our country.”

Martin Wiest, CEO of Tourvest Destination Management, adds: “From a Tourvest perspective, we look forward to co-operating with the new Minister, and will do utmost to make the transition into this vibrant and exciting space as fluid and smooth as possible. She will have our utmost support in achieving her goals and targets that she has no doubt been given as a result of the ministerial process.”

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa, which represents the private sector, welcomes the Minister and looks forward to working with her and Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela, to address the issues that affect tourism, says the TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. “We believe that President Ramaphosa’s leaving the Tourism Ministry as a standalone Ministry is testimony that it is a key ministry and a priority – and we look forward to working together to ensure the delivery of the President’s mandate on growing tourist numbers.”

CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, David Frost, concludes: “Satsa wishes to extend congratulations to the new Minister of Tourism Ms. Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane and the new Deputy Minister Mr. Fish Mahlalela.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to Minister Derek Hanekom for the great job he did in a particularly difficult period for tourism in South Africa.  We commend him for forging a robust public-private sector alliance in tourism.  We look forward to building on this as we embark on our journey with our two new Ministers.”