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The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and BARSA, a member of TBCSA, welcomes the appointment of Derek Hanekom as the new Minister of Tourism.

Mr. Hanekom will be taking over the portfolio from Marthinus van Schalkwyk who had established a good working relationship with the local travel and tourism trade.

“We thank our previous Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, for his contribution towards growing our tourism economy and making tourism a key contributor to our GDP, and we wish him well in his future endeavours” says TBCSA CEO, Mmatsatsi Ramawela.

The Board Chairman of the TBCSA, Mavuso Msimang added that the appointment of Hanekom was a positive move, which was welcomed by the travel and tourism private sector.  “Derek Hanekom is a ‘salt of the earth’ type of leader who brings into the portfolio considerable administrative experience.  He served in the Mandela administration as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs.  He went on to take charge of Science and Technology where he is credited with driving South Africa’s successful bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA), David Frost remembers working well with Hanekom in driving change in the agriculture sector: “He is a good guy and a hard-working Minister. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty” Frost recalls.

The TBCSA also commends President Zuma on the appointment of ministers in key areas of Transport, Public Enterprises and the establishment of a new ministry for small business development.

“We congratulate the new Minister of Tourism and specifically welcome the establishment of a dedicated Ministry for Small Business Development”, says Eddy Khosa, National Chairman for the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA).  Khosa believes the new ministry will play a critical role in accelerating support for SMMEs and closing the gap which currently exists in stimulating SMME growth.

Key member associations of the TBCSA including the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA), the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA), SATSA and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) have all welcomed the retention of Dipuo Peters as Minister of Transport, citing the importance of continuity in addressing issues such as vehicle licensing, road conditions in the country and other transport-related matters which are intimately linked to the delivery of a great tourism experience.

In conclusion, the TBCSA reiterates the private sector’s commitment to working with government and providing the necessary support for Minister Hanekom as he settles into his new portfolio.

Source: TBCSA