As members of the wider tourism family we are saddened and disappointed by the Department of Tourism’s approach to supporting only certain groups with relief funding.
It is 26 years since we entered the new democracy yet unfortunately, politicians and many government bureaucrats are still behaving much as they always have done. They look at the situation from the top down and have little knowledge or regard of what needs to happen on the ground. In the Waterberg tourism sector about 90% of the jobs are in the hands of previously disadvantaged people. Some are owners of game farms or lodges; others are managers of hospitality venues whilst a large number are responsible as guides and rangers. There are a growing number in the front line to welcome our visitors, as there are an many behind the scenes responsible for catering and housekeeping. And who do we rely upon for security?
All these people need to be trained. Where do they get their training? Much of their training is on the job but a significant portion is now happening in the Waterberg by securing the services of specialists who are encouraged to visit us to conduct specialised, practical on the ground training at an affordable price. This is being initiated and funded by the tourism community – the same community that has the experience and knowledge to do so! The question is: Would SME’s be able to fill the void?
South Africa today is the first and only country in the world to EVER deny a portion of its Citizens pandemic aid based to race.
Founding Director – Waterberg Tourism NPC