Hanekom invites Zuma to go bungee jumping

2016-02-16 18:08
Derek Hanekom

Derek Hanekom

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Parliament - President Jacob Zuma was invited to go bungee jumping with Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom so that he could see for himself the potential that tourism had to make money for the country.

Hanekpom also invited Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to go shark cage diving, as he delivered his comments on Tuesday on Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

He said Robben Island, which was close to the president's heart because he had lived there - not by choice - while he was imprisoned during apartheid, was now visited by people who wanted to go there by choice.

"Right now opportunities in tourism are greater than ever before," said Hanekom.

He said Zuma had touched on an important source of revenue to lift people out of unemployment and poverty when he raised the potential that the tourism industry held during his address on Thursday.

South Africa had challenges, said Hanekom, and South Africans were sometimes guilty of just seeing the negatives.

But around 1.5 million people were employed in the tourism sector directly and indirectly.

Iconic attractions like the Kruger National Park and Robben Island should, however, be affordable and accessible to the people of South Africa, he added.

Last year had been a bad year for tourism, but the Department of Home Affairs was making changes to visa regulations.

Tourists had said the rules for travelling with children were too onerous.

In 2014, tourism contributed R357bn to the GDP and supported 9% of total employment, and Buzzfeed had voted South Africa the most beautiful country in the world.

Rough Guide had rated the Northern Cape as one of the best places to visit in the world.

"Tourism can convert the natural beauty and cultural heritage of our county and our continent into an astounding economic success for all our people," said Hanekom.

Read more on:    derek hanekom  |  parliament 2016  |  sona 2016

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