Minister Sisulu denies pledging donation from African Travel Indaba to KZN flood relief

Issued by Hannah Winkler MP – DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism
08 Sep 2022 in News

In a written response to a parliamentary question submitted by the DA to the Department of Tourism, Minister Sisulu, in a startling turn of events, has denied pledging funding or a donation from the Africa Travel Indaba proceeds to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) flood relief.

Addressing the media, delegates and stakeholders at the Tourism Travel Indaba held in KZN in May of this year Minister Sisulu emphatically stated that her department would consider a donation from the proceedings of the event to flood relief in the province.

Given that KZN is still beset by crippling damage as a result of the severe flooding experienced earlier in the year, including exacerbating the collapse of sewage infrastructure, which has compromised key tourism hot-spots, as well as the impact on many tourism stakeholders, it is of grave concern that the minister has denied pledging any donation.

Not only has Minister Sisulu denied that she has made a pledge towards KZN flood relief, although being recorded on camera saying so, but it was further elaborated in the parliamentary response that the “Department stands ready to assist where possible as indicated by the Minister in support of tourism recovery efforts for both KZN and EC provinces regarding the recent floods. However, provinces will have to confirm the respective needs so as to avoid duplication of resources.”

It really does add insult to injury that the department now insists that the onus is on the provinces affected by flooding to put forth requests to avoid “duplication” whilst in the same breath denying having offered that very assistance.

It is unclear what the Minister intends to achieve by this denial, besides gravely disappointing the very people she is meant to serve.

The DA will continue to act as a watchdog over the Department of Tourism and Minister Sisulu. We are adamant that the people of KZN get as much support as possible to revive their ailing tourism economy.