Minister Hanekom engages with Tourism Stakeholders in Mpumalanga

Author: | Published by KLCBT on at 07:42:24 | Last Updated On: 19 November 2018

Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, was in Hazyview on Saturday 10th November to engage with tourism stakeholders in the hope of addressing issues of mutual concern. According to Chris Harvie, Chairperson of Hazyview Tourism Organisation, the meeting was encouraging and the Minister was attentive to the local tourism industry’s many concerns and complaints and receptive with helpful input from private sector, SANParks and Government. The following were some of the points made by the Minister in his closing summary on the day:

  • The fact that we face political and budgetary challenges is no excuse for inefficiency, corruption or wastefulness when it comes to service delivery or the allocation of funding;
  • He was encouraged at the better communications between those organisations and the private sector;
  • He heard our plea that many of the challenges we are facing are countrywide challenges and that they should be dealt with at a national level, instead of leaving each region to fight the same fires individually;
  • He agreed that we must not allow our icons to get tired. We need GREAT IDEAS, so that people will hear about them and come to see them, in Mpumalanga;
  • Corruption must be addressed at every level as it sends out a very big WRONG MESSAGE.
  • An organisation/authority (SANParks/MTPA/other) will be appointed in the next few weeks, to manage the Makhonjwa World Heritage Site;
  • On Pilgrim’s Rest, we must tell him what assistance we need from National Government. It was clear that intervention was needed.
  • Safety of tourists is paramount. Tourism Safety Monitors must be trained, branded and tourist friendly, linked with police stations and relevant to their specific area of operation. They must be able to respond effectively to situations.
  • There has been a recent slight turnaround in the numbers and he is predicting a bumper year next year. The drought, he says, is over!