Jerry Mpufane, well-known and respected Marketing and Advertising Executive, has been appointed as the new South African Tourism Hub Head for the US and Canada, taking over from Bangu Masisi whose term in office has come to an end.

Mpufane will be based at the SA Tourism office in New York, and will lead a team that is responsible for driving growth into South Africa from this region. He will be taking up his new role in May.

The North American region is a key market for SA Tourism, accounting for just over 4% (445 000) of international visitors to South Africa in 2018. In the next three years, arrivals from this region are expected to grow to 665 000 – a 14.3% year-on-year growth with revenue of R15.8bn (€966.8m) in 2021.  

Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism, said: “Jerry’s appointment comes at a time when, as a direct result of responding to our President’s call to create sustainable jobs through increasing tourism to South Africa and we are looking to further strengthen our growth strategies in the North American market and maximise the region’s huge travelling potential.”

“It is a privilege to get the opportunity to fly the South African flag, and to join the effort of positioning our country as a fantastic holiday destination for the North American market,” said Mpufane. “I would like to believe that the last number of years in advertising agency executive management have prepared me for this very important role.  I am eternally grateful for an experience filled with great success at M&C SAATCHI ABEL, an agency that’s led by some of the best talent in our land, who work on some of the most sought-after client brands.”

Mpufane is no stranger to SA Tourism, as he was employed by the organisation between 2004 and 2006 as the General Manager for Brand and Advertising, and was instrumental in developing a strong brand positioning for SA Tourism at the time.

Ntshona also paid tribute to the outgoing North America Hub Head, who will be retiring after serving SA Tourism for more than a decade. “Bangu has been an integral part of our business having also headed up hubs in Australia and The Netherlands. Under her leadership, all three hubs thrived and we wish her well in her future endeavours.”