Please find attached a soundbite by Manny de Freitas MP.
In the Tourism Portfolio Committee this week, it was revealed that the representative of the Tourism Department that sat on the South African Tourism (SAT) board, never reported back to the Department on SAT board matters.
In addition, the legally required departmental representative attended SAT board meetings without any mandates from the department. Current Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille assured the Portfolio Committee that this would change and that a departmental representative would not only attend SAT board meetings, but that the representative would brief the department and would attend board meetings with mandates from the department on the various issues.
This fact explains how it was that the R1 billion Tottenham Hotspur deal got as advanced as it did “without detection” and was almost signed had it not reached the public spotlight.
Had there been a properly constituted departmental representative at the SAT board that reported back and briefed the department, the Tottenham Hotspur matter may well have been squashed at an early stage.
The Portfolio Committee of Tourism meeting this week clearly displayed the appalling legacy of the previous Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu. In all other portfolios that she held, there too, she created and left an appalling mess.
In the 19 months that former Minister Sisulu led this portfolio, it was clear that she enjoyed the perks of being a minister but was minimally interested in making a positive difference in the portfolio.
Minister Patricia de Lille has much to do to fix the mess she inherited. The DA remains committed to advancing the interests of all South Africans and ensuring responsible governance that puts the prosperity of our nation first, and in this case tourism. We will be submitting official questions to the Minister to ensure that the irregular lack of reporting does not continue and that the representative on the SAT board has a departmental mandate.
We will continue to hold the ANC government accountable to ensure that tourism benefits.
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