Project Description

How to fully realise South Africa’s potential as a tourism destination

South Africa has a tourist product of unequalled diversity that few other countries can match. The tourism sector in South Africa is a key driver of the economy and contributed 3.7% to GDP in 2019. Most businesses in the tourism sector are micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMMEs) that contribute to local economies and provide more than one million jobs, in particular lower skilled entry level positions which are critical for the country’s future.

Yet SMMEs in the tourism sector face a myriad of hazards on an almost daily basis. Weak and failing public utilities, social unrest and crime (and increasingly cybercrime), exchange rate concerns, political disruption and COVID 19 restrictions pose critical challenges to business continuity. The pandemic in particular has made the business case (in every sector) for a much greater emphasis on business resilience.

Join Francis Herd (moderator), Joni Musabayana (Country Director | International Labour Organization), Themba Khumalo (Acting CEO & Chief Marketing Officer | SA Tourism), Phakamile Hlazo | CEO | Zulu Nomad, David Frost | CEO | SATSA and Mandisa Magwaxaza | Co-Vice Chairpaerson | SATSA as they discuss how South Africa’s potential as a tourism destination can be fully realised. Among other questions, the event will explore: (1) the most pressing resilience challenges that SMMEs in South Africa’s tourism sector are currently facing, (2) the role that business membership organizations and the public sector can play in promoting resilience across the sector, and (3) how business resilience can be leveraged as a comparative brand for tourism in South Africa.

Francis Herd


Joni Musabayana

Country Director

International Labour Organization

Themba Khumalo

Acting CEO & Chief Marketing Officer

SA Tourism

David Frost



Mandisa Magwaxaza

Co-Vice Chairperson


Phakamile Hlazo


Zulu Nomad