New SAT board in administrative bungle even before it is appointed
Since the dissolution of the previous South African Tourism (SAT) board, the DA, and every member of the Tourism Portfolio Committee, have been adamant about getting a proper replacement SAT board in place. Gazette Notice 1859 of 7 June 2023 (see attachment) inviting nominations for a new SAT Board was, therefore, most welcome.
Since the publication of this gazette, the Department of Tourism website has been offline (see attachment) until yesterday.
The Tourism Act indicates in clause 13 (3) (b) that the notice in the gazette “must specify a period of at least 30 days for nominations to be submitted to the Minister.” The gazette presumes that nominations may be submitted within the entire prescribed period since the publication of the gazette in the first place. As of yesterday, 12 days had passed without any interested party being able to apply via the website. As an additional and experimental measure, on 9 June 2023, I sent an email to the address indicated in the gazette requesting an application form for the nomination of a SAT board member. To date, nothing had been received.
The gazette explicitly indicates that nominations must be in writing and must contain, amongst other requirements, the following; “A duly completed and signed Declaration and Consent Form available on the website of Department of Tourism, accessible at: www.tourism.gov.za or on request from email@example.com”.
The combination of the above facts makes a mockery of the gazette and the requirements stated in the legislation.
This means that in reality applications for nominations opened yesterday only and fall 12 days short of the required 30 days. This is most concerning as it compromises the process. In addition, interested parties who may have tried to access such applications during the 12 days in question may not return to the website or will give up on attempting to apply.
This is not the first time that there has been an administrative bungle involving gazettes in the Tourism Ministry. The gazette dated 21 April 2023 (Notice 1759) indicated that an interim SAT board was appointed with Mr Zwelibanzi Vincent Mntambo as its chairperson, however, the gazette of 2 May 2023 (Notice 1780) indicated that this was an Erratum and that the chairperson is actually Mr Tim Harris.
It is deplorable that such basic administrative requirements are not adhered to and speak to the present state of the Department of Tourism.
I will therefore be writing to the Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille to extend the nomination period by 12 days (presuming that the tourism website will be up and running for the remainder of the period).
Such an extension will ensure that all requirements are met and that parties are not compromised. Leaving the situation as is will compromise the new SAT board even before they are appointed.
Manny de Freitas MP
DA Shadow Minister of Tourism
082 788 6824
National Communications Officer
066 216 6400