Tourism SMMEs to thrive on incubator’s scheme
Pretoria – The North West MEC for Tourism, Desbo Mohono, says the Tourism Enterprise Incubator Programme will significantly help to move many SMMEs in the sector off the ground.
MEC Mohono said 50 small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) within the tourism business space in the province will receive much needed support from the programme, which was recently launched by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom at the Mphebatho Cultural Museum in Moruleng.
“We are proud as a province to be spearheading this programme. This programme is one of many revolutionary ways used by government to ensure continuous support to SMMEs. This business incubator model is a vibrant tool for nurturing innovative ventures … and job creation as critical components of entrepreneurial infrastructure. It is going to assist the growth of emerging and small start-up business enterprises into financially and operationally independent business ultimately,” MEC Mohono said.
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said the business incubator programme will be a “virtual vehicle” used to provide business support interventions to tourism enterprises, clustered along a thriving tourism node in the country. He said this model will enable enterprises to get all business support services offered without being located in the incubator.
“The programme will focus on viable existing SMMEs at the selected tourism nodes. The SMMEs must be affiliated to a local tourism association and be operational. There is no turnover requirement for participation by SMMEs, but the official description of what SMMEs are, in line with the Small Development Act, will be considered in the evaluation of suitability for inclusion in the incubator,” Minster Hanekom said.
Speaking on behalf of the SMMEs, chairpersons of the Bojanala Tour Operators Association, Lester Ntsabo, said the programme is going to ensure sustainable growth in their businesses. He said this kind of support was welcomed by the industry at large.
“As tourism business owners, we really need this kind of support in order to grow our businesses and ensure that they prosper. Tourism is one of the most influential sectors used to drive our economy and it is necessary for tourism businesses to be capacitated and supported by government,” Ntsabo said.
Kgosi Nyalala Pilane of Bakgatlha Ba Kgafela said it was important to nurture and support tourism businesses to keep the economy buoyant.
“The value chain here is not just tourism sector driven. There are other aspects of this tourism business, which will eventually influence other sectors of society in order for this to be a success. There are plenty of elements involved and we need the necessary support from government to ensure that we grow the tourism sector in the province,” said Kgosi Pilane.