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Fri, 25 Aug 2017
SA to participate in World Tourism Conference

Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa will lead a South African delegation comprising of public and private sector tourism experts to attend the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

The conference, which takes place from 28 to 31 August 2017, is expected to attract government leaders, international investors and travel professionals from the United States, Europe and Africa to explore how tourism can be utilised as an engine for economic growth and job creation.

Minister Xasa will also attend the inaugural Council of Tourism Ministers meeting scheduled for Monday, 28 August 2017.

This Council is chaired by Honourable Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism in the Republic of Zimbabwe, who is also the current Chairperson of the UNWTO Commission for Africa.

It will serve as a platform to discuss policies to support tourism, and also ways in which the sector can be leveraged to stimulate economic and social development on the continent.

The participation of the Minister and the South African delegation of tourism experts at the conference will provide several opportunities including strengthening tourism bilateral relations, establishing contacts with counterparts and creating awareness of South Africa as a tourism destination and attract investments.

The Minister will also visit Lilongwe, Malawi, for an official signing ceremony of the Malawi-South Africa Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Tourism on 31 August 2017.

The objective of the MoU is aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and people to people relationship between the two countries and within the SADC region.

The MoU will focus on the following areas: Sharing of best practices, Human resource capacity building initiatives, Marketing and investment promotions in the field of tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, sustainable tourism development and travel facilitation.


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Wed, 23 Aug 2017
Young chefs join hospitality industry

Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has congratulated 50 chef graduates in Newlands, Cape Town.

The chefs were trained through the National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP). It is a project that develops unemployment youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years in the skills of the culinary arts. It’s the brainchild of a partnership between the National Department of Tourism and the South African Chefs Association (SACA).

The programme was first piloted in 2011 for a period of 10 months, where a total of 800 young South Africans enrolled in the City and Guilds Certified qualification in Food Preparation and Cooking. Phase two of the programme commenced in the 2012/13 financial year.

In continuing with the programme, the department approved a budget of over R74 million to train 577 learners during the 2015/16 financial year and another 577 learners in the 2016/17 financial year.

The beneficiaries are trained in the National Certificate of Professional Cookery NQF 3, which has 145 credits.

“Highlights of the training programme for the 2016/17 financial year include 90% learners passing, 66% of those achieving distinctions and merit passes, and 100% pass rate in nine of the schools around the country, including Vhembe FET, Alfresco Fusion in the Eastern Cape and the Mafikeng Hotel School in the North West,” Minister Thabethe said.

Speaking on behalf of SACA, Chef Allister Esau said the programme has been a huge success, measured by the fact that most students have graduated and found permanent employment.

“Chefs and cooks coming through the programme have proven that this is a sound initiative and investment in the youth of our country by the National Department of Tourism, with SACA as the implementer,” said Esau.

There are currently 19 culinary schools across the country and the Northern Cape is expected to also have a school as soon as it has met all the requirements. The programme has also afforded some graduates an opportunity to work in the Seychelles, Dubai and the United States.

The future of this programme includes a continuation of 227 learners with the National Certificate Professional Cookery Course Level 3. One hundred trainees will also continue with the National Certificate in Professional Cookery Course Level 2. Additionally, the recruitment of 250 new entrants for the 2017/18 financial year period has started.


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Wed, 23 Aug 2017
Thousands of animals from KZN head for Mozambique

More than 2 000 animals from KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland are on the move in a major wildlife shifting operation – to boost tourism in a depleted game reserve near the Mozambique capital, Maputo.

Over the last six years, about 1 700 animals have been moved to the Maputo Special Elephant Reserve – once home to large groups of elephant, rhino and antelope.

This year, another 2 700 animals – mostly antelope species – are being moved from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Swaziland game parks to the Maputo reserve, with financial support from the World Bank and the Stellenbosch-based Peace Parks Foundation.

A massive 3km-long suspension bridge from Maputo to Catembe and a 209km tar road from Maputo to Ponta do Ouro is currently under construction by the Chinese Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of $725m.

“Maputo Special Reserve and the Ponta do Ouro marine reserve are set to become major tourist destinations thanks to the new tarred road and bridge that will cut travel time from Maputo to the reserves to just 45 minutes,” said Peace Parks Foundation chief executive Werner Myburgh.

Conservation links

Mozambican conservation agency director-general Bartolomeu Soto said the translocation would provide a significant boost to the trans-frontier conservation links between SA, Swaziland and Mozambique.

A recent survey suggests there are now more than 6 200 herbivore species in the Maputo Special Reserve. Apart bringing in giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, nyala, zebra, wildebeest and waterbuck from KZN, Swaziland and Mozambique’s Gorongosa Reserve, Myburgh said there were also plans to bring buffalo from Namibia.

“By adding another 2 300 animals this year, it will completely transform the Maputo reserve into a sought-after wildlife destination. The next step will be to start investing into more tourism accommodation and infrastructure,” the foundation said.

The scenic Maputo reserve has numerous inland lakes and large open plains, close to the specially-protected Ponta do Ouro marine reserve popular with divers.


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