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South Africa: Parliament Recommends Promoting Tourism At Local Government Level

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The Portfolio Committee on Tourism today received a briefing from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) on the State of Tourism at Local Government Level.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Supra Mahumapelo, informed the meeting that the focus of the committee for the next four years will be on the alleviation of poverty, inequality and unemployment in the rural areas. He said tourism programmes and projects are more concentrated in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town currently.

The committee formed the Legislative Tourism Oversight Forum which brings together the nine provinces and Parliament. The committee will also consider working with the 18 identified government departments to ensure that the target of the attraction of 21 million tourists to South Africa is met by 2030.

The committee welcomed the presentation by the Minister of Cogta, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who said that tourism is vital for socio-economic development in the country and it also creates job opportunities.

The District Development Model profiles the 44 districts and 8 metropolitan municipalities in the country. The committee welcomed the presentation which highlighted the provision of basic services such as water and electricity at tourism sites, the provision and maintenance of public infrastructure, tourism attractions and the beautification of public areas to attract tourists.

The committee said, there should be a focus on rescuing dilapidated buildings and municipal resorts and to restore them into tourist sites. Furthermore, there should also be a combined effort of among all the 18 government departments, municipalities and tourism authorities to work together to ensure that tourism in villages, small dorpies and townships is revived.

The committee called on the Department of Cogta to work closely with sister departments such as Water and Sanitation, Roads and Communications to ensure that tourism offerings at district level meet high standards for both international and domestic tourists alike.

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