Tourism committee calls for replacement of two SA Tourism interim board members

4th May 2023 By: Thabi Shomolekae - Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

The Portfolio Committee on Tourism wants Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille to replace Tim Harris and Zwelibanzi Mntambo as members of the South African Tourism (SAT) board, owing to their “questionable reputations”.

Last month De Lille dissolved the SAT board and appointed a three-person interim board to facilitate the appointment of the new board.

Qualified chartered accountant Kholeka Zama is the third person on the board.

“I met with the interim board last week to discuss their duties and urgent work needed to stabilise SA Tourism and pursue our objective of growing inclusive tourism in South Africa. During my meeting with the interim board, Mr Vincent Zwelibanzi Mntambo nominated Mr Tim Harris as their chairperson, this was accepted, and this update will be gazetted in the Government Gazette of Friday 5 May 2023,” De Lille said.

While the portfolio committee welcomed the dissolution of the board, which it said added no value to SAT, it argued that the geographic location and gender of interim board members were not taken into consideration.

De Lille explained that SAT needed just three people with a sound understanding of financial administration, governance and tourism and added that their appointments were done in line with Section 16(3)(b) of the Tourism Act. 

The committee also requested the Minister to lift the moratorium she had put in place at SAT, especially on the filling of some executive posts, as the Auditor-General recommended that appointments be made in these posts immediately. 

Committee chairperson Tandi Mahambehlala also told the Minister to leave Brand South Africa and SAT as independent entities under the Department of Tourism. She also called for the information and system agency to be established under the department.

De Lille also reported that the Tottenham Hotspur FC deal has been scrapped with immediate effect.