The programme is aimed at helping tourism return to full swing when lockdown regulations ease.
On Tuesday, 14 July, South African Tourism told the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism that Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni’s budget cuts have affected the Department of Tourism and SA Tourism significantly, but that it has since started projects to help tourism return to full swing when lockdown regulations ease.
As a result of the budget cuts, there were fewer funds allocated for the Department of Tourism, whose allocations to SA Tourism decreased by over R800 million, contributing to a downward revision of the latter's revenue from R1.5 billion to under R500 million.
SA Tourism CFO Nombulelo Guliwe said the entity’s total projected revenue of R1.5 billion was revised downward to R438 million due to a reduction in the allocated transfer to the department of R826 million. There was also a downward revision in projected exhibition income and levy fees.
“This would be the revenue or credit side of things. On the debit side, we have, at a programme level, various adjustments,” Nombulelo said, adding that, due to the change in revenue, there was a “corresponding revision on the investing side” which was reflected in the budget.
To address these challenges, SA Tourism has frozen non-essential vacancies. However, Nombulelo said that curtailing the cost of compensation was already on the cards before the pandemic. “Compensation of employees will be adjusted from R243 million to R237 million.”
Nombulelo said that SA Tourism has also launched a business enablement programme, which seeks to align operations to the strategic objectives of re-igniting tourism demand, rejuvenating supply and building an enabling capability for the sector to start up again once restrictions are eased.
“The business enablement programme is responsible to ensure strategy development, and to provide centralised research insights and analytics to support the core business and provide an open source for information sharing with the tourism sector to strengthen collaboration with the tourism industry,” she said.