Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has called on young people interested in the tourism sector to approach her department for more information and for assistance in establishing their own businesses.
Addressing the local community of Mabopane, north of Tshwane, on the first day of National Imbizo Fortnight of Activism, Thabethe said tourism plays a crucial role in job creation.
“South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. People all over the world want to come to South Africa for many reasons. During the World Cup, we showed the world who we are and people loved our country,” Thabethe said on Monday.
Thabethe encouraged the community, some of whom exhibited their artwork at the imbizo, to promote tourism wherever they are.
“In tourism, we always want to get people to visit South Africa. People love our country, they love our wines and they love our food,” she said.
Thabethe called on young people to come up with programmes that speak to other young people in terms of job creation.
She said government cares about young people. “As government, we listen. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and encourage other young people to get involved in the tourism sector.”
Thabethe expressed concern about young people, who go to tertiary institutions or universities, to study in courses where there are few job opportunities.
“Our country needs young people who have the relevant, scarce skills. Chefs are scarce and the department is always willing to assist young people who want to venture into tourism or to become chefs,” the Deputy Minister said.
Among those who attended the imbizo were people who wanted to start their businesses in the tourism sector.
One of them is Pule Maotshe, who matriculated five years ago and cannot secure a job. He told SAnews that he came to the imbizo to get more information about the tourism industry.
“I want to open a bed and breakfast establishment in my area. I want to get more information from the department on how to go about starting my own business and how they can assist me,” Maotshe said.
Another local, Thato Moedi, said she has always been interested in becoming a chef but did not know where to go for training.
“I’m happy that the Deputy Minister is here today and she has been talking about helping young people who are interested in becoming chefs,” Moedi said.
National Imbizo Fortnight of Activism seeks to encourage communities to participate in government programmes and initiatives in an effort to build inclusive and socially cohesive societies. – SAnews.gov.za