South Africa to create over 10,000 jobs in tourism


Pretoria (South Africa) : Offering a hope to the large unemployed population in the country, the South African government has decided to generate over 10,000 jobs in the tourism sector in the current fiscal.

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Over 900, 000 South Africans lost their jobs between 2008 and 2009, while some companies continue to cut staff due to rising costs of oil and energy.

Delivering his department’s Budget Vote, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said, the National Department of Tourism will contribute 10,270 full time jobs in the current financial year, while about 530 small rural enterprises will also be supported.

The jobs would be generated through the Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) programme and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP), the official BuaNews quoted the minister as saying.

The department has also planned to spend Rand 253 million ($3,75,37,092) in the current financial year to fund tourism projects that were aligned to the Expanded Public Works Programme, one of South African government’s programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities.

“We believe this will assist with the transfer of wealth to poor and rural communities by amongst others ensuring ownership of assets and the facilitation of skills development,” he said.

The government also has plans to raise the number of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from seven million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020, and tourism’s total contribution to the economy from R189 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020.

It is expected that the number of domestic tourists could also go up from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020 and to create 225, 000 new jobs by 2020.

Van Schalkwyk said authorities would also be using the department’s budget to foster new growth by accessing markets unlocked by the World Cup.

“In this context, we envisage maximising the value of our participation in a number of international and regional tourism platforms.

“We will seek cooperation with especially African partners in order to contribute to the economic prosperity of our continent through tourism.”

The minister further stated that the department would further develop a Tourism International Relations Strategy to tactically guide the country’s engagements at multi-lateral level, including South Africa’s participation in the BRICS formation.