Ramaphosa gives green light for SA Tourism, Brand SA merger
President Cyril Ramaphosa has given the green light for the merger of Brand SA and SA Tourism, Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday.
She said a process of legal and regulatory changes still needs to be completed. In the meantime there will be a combined interim board. This will allow the two entities to collaborate as single entities under the Tourism Ministry.
While SA Tourism falls under her department, Brand SA’s executive authority is the Minister in the Presidency.
Mpumzi Zuzile, spokesperson of the minister, told Fin24 on Thursday that the Cabinet Lekgotla of January 2020 directed that government entities should be rationalised and repurposed. As part of this exercise, departments with entities that have similar or related mandates were requested to work together.
“The Department of Tourism and GCIS have been collaborating for some time on maximising the positioning of SA Tourism and Brand SA. The Cabinet Economic Lekgotla held during June 2022 took a decision to merge the two entities.
“The minister of tourism has been given the responsibility to take the process forward,” said Zuzile. “There are immediate pockets of value which include South Africa’s global brand positioning and management.”
Wanted for ‘many years’
Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA), which represents the private sector, said the industry body had been calling for such a unified approach for many years.
He noted that Brand SA focused on the image of South Africa in general and also attended to investment promotion overseas.
“Therefore, it is not necessarily about tourism, but regarding investment and positivity about the country,” said Tshivhengwa.
He believes the merger can help smooth the path towards much-needed investment by avoiding duplication and creating a more organised impression.
“It is important to harmonise how we get people to either travel to SA or invest here – or both. Usually, before someone invests in a country, they might first travel there. If they have a positive experience, then they will consider investing,” says Tshivhengwa.
By merging Brand SA and SA Tourism it would avoid SA looking “disorganised” when – as currently sometimes happens – the same potential investors or tourism markets are approached by more than SA marketing organisation.
“Economically, tourism is very important for SA and we have to continue to position the country positively. We compete with other countries and must put our best foot forward. If that means we have to organise ourselves better here at home, then so be it. The merger is an important move,” says Tshivhengwa.
Courtesy of News24 – read full article here.