ISSUED BY MTUTUZELI MBADI, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM
United Democratic Movement calls on the government to urgently address concerns
regarding the eco-tourism industry in South Africa.
During a recent strategic development workshop the United Democratic Movement
emphasised its commitment to job creation, alleviation of poverty, increased
rates of economic growth, as well as its vision of mobilising the creative
spirit inherent in our rich diversity towards our transformation into a Winning
Nation. Thus the UDM is pleased to note the developments within the tourism
sector in South Africa, especially the proposed establishment of a technical
committee to advise the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and the
project for international marketing of South Africa by the Government
Communication and Information System (GCIS).
The actual implementation of tourism-friendly policy seems to be proving
quite a task for the ruling party. As such the UDM is concerned about the state
of affairs of eco-tourism and the marketing of this vital sector of the South
Such concerns include the deficit experienced by most protected areas, the
dilapidation of facilities within these areas, and the lack of regulation of the
licensing of the various services rendered there. Coupled with this is the
question of illegality of gaming in South Africa's 422 protected areas, which
amounts to 6.7 million hectares. Of further grave concern is the postponement of
a crucial media briefing by the government to address these issues. This is
further aggravated by the bickering between Environmental and Tourism Minister
Valli Moosa and the Land Affairs MEC for the Eastern Cape, Mutile Mamase. The
Minister was recently quoted as saying that he "...reminded the MEC that
the conditions that he so bitterly complained about,fell under his
The implementation of scientific and pragmatic appraisals has been suggested as
a route to possible solutions but thus far these calls have gone unheeded.
Formal status, legal recognition and education is also sorely needed, yet the
economic value of this sector of South Africa has largely gone unrecognised by
the ruling government.
In light of the upcoming National Tourism Indaba the UDM calls on the government
to urgently address these concerns, thereby creating economic opportunities for
all South Africans.
Prof. Mbadi, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Environmental Affairs and Tourism
24 April 2001