New Tourism Minister is MIA

Please find attached soundbite by Hannah Shameema Winkler MP.

The newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu, has been missing in action from all three tourism portfolio committee meetings since President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle on 5 August 2021.

Economists and business analysts in the sector have already expressed reservations over Minister Sisulu’s appointment as Tourism Minister due to her poor performance track record in the previous departments she headed. Considering that tourism will need to serve as a significant driver to economic growth post Covid-19, the Department requires strong, decisive leadership at its helm.

Minister Sisulu has been offered an opportunity to overhaul her performance track-record and one would think that she would at least attend important portfolio committee meetings. Her absence as the new Tourism Minister certainly does not inspire confidence in the sector.

The DA calls on Minister Sisulu to urgently undertake the following:

  • To perform oversight to all provinces and to meet with the hardest hit stakeholders in the sector;
  • A review of the Tourism Grading System with a mind to free grading;
  • Cross-departmental collaboration to address security, infrastructure and environmental degradation;
  • Resource and funding of Community Tourist Organisations (CTOs) as key to driving recovery at local government level;
  • A review of the aftermath on the tourism sector in the wake of the riots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Retention of Blue Flag status of beaches around South Africa; and
  • International Marketing of South Africa as a viable and safe travel destination.

The tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic and requires a minister that is ready to roll up her sleeves if it is to unlock its potential as a significant job creator and driver to economic growth.

The DA will continue to hold Minister Sisulu and her Department to account. We cannot afford to drop the ball. South Africa deserves better.