TBCSA Week in Review for week ending 11 November 2016



For the week ending 11 November 2016 

Welcome to this week’s edition of the TBCSA Week in Review.
As promised last week, in this edition we bring you Part II of update from the National Tourism Minister’s meeting with Captains of Industry – this time providing feedback on the work of the five work streams that were established as part of the Tourism Economic Boosting Initiative; We share an invite for you to attend a tax amnesty programme public lecture on 23 November in Johannesburg and remind you of the RETOSA Annual Southern Africa Women in Tourism Conference. Lastly, we conclude an update from two BUSA committee meetings we attended this week.

    Part II: Update from the National Tourism Minister’s Meeting with Captains of Industry
    As mentioned in last week’s Weekly, National Tourism Minister met with Captains of Industry on 9 November 2016.  The meeting was also attended by key officials from the National Treasury and Tourism Departments.  The meeting was held within the context of the Cabinet’s economic boosting initiative programme that was initiated earlier this year, which involves engaging the private sector in the various sectors of the economy to come up with strategies to stimulate economic growth.For travel and tourism, this process of engagement has led to the formation of five work streams whose, main task is to identify quick-win initiatives to increase the sector’s contribution to economic growth and job creation.   Each of the work stream presented a progress report to the industry leaders present.

    SA Tourism presented a progress report on the work of the Marketing, Branding and Business Events work streams, which are collectively led by CMO, Margie Whitehouse. Key highlights from the presentation are:

    – SAT has reported good progress being made with the Joint Marketing Agreements initiative which is a collaborative effort between SAT and TBCSA. A total of 11 JMAs have been secured (4 in Germany; 4 in UK; 2 in China; 1 in US);

    – In terms of business events, the positive news is that after extensive lobbying for the establishment of a bidding fund within the SA National Conventions Bureau, National Treasury has agreed and have committed funds for the SANCB to kick-start the initiative – an exciting development which will bode well for the future growth of the business events sector

    The National Department of Tourism presented a progress report on the work of the Regulatory and Market Access work stream, which is led by the DDG Aneme Malan. Apart from discussions regarding the Amended Immigrations Regulations, other notable highlights from the presentation includes:

    – The establishment of the National Public Transport Regulator. The Department of Transport has also agreed to separate tourism transport matters – these will now be handled separate from all other general public transport matters; The DG’s of Tourism and Transport have in principle agreed to create a Tourism and Transport Forum.
    – Planning has commenced to develop an econometric model that will assist in the identification of key leverages and the prioritising of actions for sustainable and inclusive growth of the contribution of the tourism sector to economic growth and job creation.

    As TBCSA we presented a progress report on the work of the Inclusive Growth work stream. Key highlights from our presentation are:

    – Looking at the complexities involved in the implementation of the B-BBEE policy, we have suggested that the matter be elevated to Captains of Industry and Ministerial level;
    – We gave an update regarding the work of the BEE Council, whose projects in the 2016/17 period includes:
    – Conducting a baseline study to establish the current state of transformation in the sector ahead of the full implementation of the Amended Tourism B-BBEE Sector Code;
    – Developing a B-BBEE Strategy aimed at mapping out a comprehensive set of targeted actions for transforming the sector beyond compliance with the Code;
    – Hosting B-BBEE roadshows in all provinces to promote awareness about the new transformation targets and developing a Tourism B-BBEE portal for black-owned enterprises;
    – Plans are underway for the Inclusive Growth work stream will be examine the issue of financial leakage in more detail – specifically looking at issues of capital inflow into South Africa and tax/VAT issues amongst other issues;

    The work stream also presented the following recommendations:
    – that the industry lobby for inclusion in programmes such as the Black Industrialists Programme
    – that the industry explores the possibility of reviving the Tourism Support Programme (TSP) that was discontinued
    – that the industry lobby for Tourism to be regarded as an Economic Sector within the DTI.

    These work streams have certainly strengthened our organisations’ working relations with the NDT and SA Tourism. We will keep you updated as developments unfold.

TSI requests information on fraudulent activities at accommodation establishments and those involving rented vehicles
The TBCSA, through the Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI), has a partnership with the South African Police Service – a stakeholder that facilitates the arrest of suspects that are involved in tourism-related criminal cases, and in particular, fraud. Our aim is to finally see convictions of the said perpetrators. We therefore request those of you whose accommodation establishments or car rental offices have been victims of fraud in the past three years to forward the following information to us: Date of the scam; Amount of money defrauded of; Bank details; Name of fraudster and cell number; Case number; Investigating officer’s name, cell number and email address

The required information is requested from those who have never reported such cases through the TSI website portal.  Currently, there are ongoing investigations on cases that have been reported through the TSI website portal, and we would have strong cases to argue at court if we have information from the affected businesses.Please email the information to Ms. Tebogo Umanah, on tebogo@tbcsa.travel or contact us on 012 664 0120 should you have any queries regarding our request.

The information you will provide will be treated with strict confidentiality and will not be shared with anyone except for the SAPS officials that we have partnered with. We gladly appreciate your response on this matter.

    Government issues advisory for international travellers to comply with import requirements
    The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has advised all international travellers visiting South Africa during the festive season to comply with the country’s import requirements for agricultural and related regulated products. DAFF says that this will help minimise or prevent the potential risk of introducing alien invasive species, foreign pests and diseases associated with imported plants and animal products. Some of the products regulated from entering into the country are animals and animal products; liquor products; plants and plant products; honey and honey products, as well as other related and potentially harmful materials.DAFF also urges travellers that upon their arrival in South Africa, all their consignments must be presented to the department’s compliance inspectors for inspection. Click here to read more.
    SARS start investigations on TOMSA levies collected and not paid over to TBCSA
    In line with the agreement that was signed between the TBCSA and government for the collection of the tourism levy. This means that the TOMSA Tourism Levy is the only government approved tourism levy to be charged to the local or international tourism consumer.

    The TOMSA Agreement signed by all our levy contributors indicates that the levy contributors:(1) will charge the 1% tourism levy from its clients; (2) will pay the collected tourism levies over to TBCSA within 15 days from the end of each accounting month, and (3) the levy contributors will not have any personal right or entitlement to the levies.

    It has come to the attention of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) though that a number of levy contributing businesses charge the 1% tourism levy but fail to hand the funds over to TBCSA. As this constitutes fraud, SARS has informed us that they will be initiating internal investigations to follow up on these suspicions. We will keep you updated on this important development. If you have any queries or information that may assist SARS in their investigations, please email our Member Relations Manager on membership@tbcsa.travel.

    News from ASATA: Air France – KLM to launch new long haul airline
    Our colleagues at ASATA have informed us that Air France-KLM Group has announced plans to create a new long-haul “non-low cost” airline to further compete with the Persian Gulf rival airlines. The new airline will acquire ten planes by 2020, with new routes comprising a third of its flights. Air France told ASATA that routes for the new airline have not yet been established. Click here for more on this story and others from the latest ASATA newsletter. 
  • Reminder: Attend the RETOSA Annual Southern Africa Women in Tourism Conference
    We encourage members to attend the 3rd Annual Southern Africa Women in Tourism Conference hosted by RETOSA. The conference will take place on 28 – 30 November 2016 at the Velmore Hotel Estate in Centurion. Under the theme Building Confidence, Capacity & Provision of Capital to our Women Entrepreneurs, the objective of the conference is to develop and agree on projects that will develop more female industry entrepreneurs and decision makers. RSVP here.
    Feedback from SocPol and EconPol Standing Committee meetings at BUSA
    As part of our ongoing updates on engagements with BUSA, we attended a Social and Transformation Policy (SocPol) and Economic and Trade Policy (EconPol) committee meeting on 02 and 09 November respectively. Key updates from the SocPol engagement are as follows:

    – The National Minimum Wage Report, a report drafted by the National Minimum Wage Task Team appointed by the Deputy President, will be made available before the end of November 2016. The report will give a summary of negotiations that took place and recommendations going forward regarding the national minimum wage;
    – The Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) will be discussed in Parliament on 09 November 2016. Members may be aware that the ETI is an incentive aimed at encouraging employers to hire young and less experienced work-seekers; sharing that cost of hiring with government. Currently, government has placed a monetary cap of R20 million per employer on the ETI, which BUSA believes places a restrictive cap on the number of youth jobs that can be incentivised through the scheme.

    Key updates from the EconPol engagement are as follows:
    – Members were informed that BUSA will circulate its position on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTPS) delivered by the Finance Minister in Parliament in October, for input from Business. This position will then serve as preparation for a meeting that the Nedlac Special Executive Council will have with the Finance Minister.
    – There was a concern raised within government, whether B-BBEE in its current form, is fit for the purpose it intends to achieve. Members agreed that government needs to be informed that a constructive discussion on this matter must take place. A BUSA meeting, focused mainly on B-BBEE, will be convened before the next EconPol meeting.We will request members for their input as we receive the BUSA position paper on the MTPS, and also keep you updated on developments regarding BUSA mentioned herewith. 

Look out for our next edition, where we will pay a special focus on 2016 World Travel Market

We trust that the updates we provide on our activities and the information we share from within and outside the industry is useful in your businesses. As always, your feedback is highly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely

Ms. Mmatšatši Ramawela

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