Introduction

Tourism is a concurrent function between the national, provincial and local governments as such the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs is mandated to plan, develop, promote and implement tourism within the province. The tourism industry has grown considerably since the country’s first democratic elections held in 1994. It is one of the sectors that are labour intensive with the capacity to create thousands of jobs.

 

We all agree that South Africa has come a long way in trying to deal with issues of transformation but persistent socio-economic inequalities still remains. Some of the key challenges facing the sector are as follows:-

 

  • Fragmentation of tourism planning across the three spheres of government and within the local government tourism sector coupled with the lack of branding and marketing alignment between provinces and cities;

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  • Slow rate of industry transformation;

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  • Weak systems for tourism skills development, and inadequate budgets for tourism development;

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  • An inadequate database of the tourism supply-side with lack of reliable market intelligence;

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  • A lack of incentives for tourism product diversification, new investment and enterprise development

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  • Non-prioritisation of tourism at a local level – tourism treated as non-funded mandate

 

In view of all of these challenges, the Department has to ensure that tourism development mandate is carried out within the province of KwaZulu Natal.