The President of the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism, Oupa Pilane, has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association’s (Satsa’s) Mpumalanga Chapter, and thereby as a Director on the Satsa board.

Pilane says that in his role as Mpumalanga Chapter Chair, his priority will be to work on establishing good relationships with government.

“The growth of the sector and its ability to achieve transformation depends on the industry working with government,” he says. “Right now, our relationships are superficial, and we have to make them work.

“My focus will be to grow the chapter and involve members in mentorship programmes in an effort to curb unemployment among the youth. I am of the view that the intervention will not only be a noble gesture from members, it will also grow the chapter,” says Pilane.

Satsa CEO David Frost has welcomed the appointment, saying Pilane’s credentials in the province make him a strong advocate within the tourism industry.

“Oupa’s knowledge, experience and great passion for the tourism sector in Mpumalanga make him the ideal candidate to take the interests of the association and its members in the province forward. We look forward to working with Oupa and our members to grow the tourism sector in Mpumalanga, and deal with some of the obstacles to that growth to the best of our ability,” says Frost.