Cabinet approves SA Tourism CEO and board appointments

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South African Department of Tourism

Yesterday, on 28 February 2024, Cabinet approved the appointment of a full SA Tourism Board and the appointment of the CEO of SA Tourism. We are therefore pleased to announce Ms Nombulelo Guliwe as the CEO of SA Tourism for a period of five years. 

SA Tourism is a public entity under the Department of Tourism, established in terms of the Tourism Act of 2014.  The mandate of SA Tourism as the official marketing agency, is to market South Africa as a domestic and international tourist destination. 

The business and affairs of SA Tourism are managed by the CEO and the SA Tourism Board. 

The position of CEO of SA Tourism became vacant in May 2021 and since then, five officials have acted in the position of CEO and this has had an impact on the management and stability within the entity.

The SA Tourism Board initiated a recruitment process in July 2023 to appoint a CEO guided by the provisions of the Tourism Act. The position was advertised from 17 September 2023 until 1 October 2023.

Following the assessments, the SA Tourism Board identified Ms Nombulelo Guliwe as the preferred candidate.

Minister de Lille took the recommendation to Cabinet this week for Cabinet’s concurrence for the appointment of Ms Guliwe as CEO to ensure that SA Tourism’s executive leadership is strengthened by appointing a suitably qualified CEO to lead the entity to achieve its mandate as prescribed in the Tourism Act of 2014.

Ms Guliwe is an experienced finance professional with extensive experience in operations and strategic financial management, accounting and auditing. She is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce and Honours Degree. 

“I wish Ms Guliwe well in her new position and look forward to continue working with her as we amplify our marketing efforts to attract more visitors from all over the world to South Africa,” Minister de Lille said. 

SA Tourism Board Appointments

In early 2023, the Tottenham Hotspur FC marketing proposal and other matters led to the mass resignation of previous board members. 

On 6 April 2023, Minister de Lille wrote a letter to the then chairperson of the SA Tourism Board, Dr Thozamile Botha asking for representation as to why the Minister should not dissolve the Board in terms of the Minister’s powers under the Tourism Act. 

The Minister’s letter outlined a number of serious concerns, such as the conduct of the Board in respect of the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship matter; the composition of the Board and whether the members have the necessary knowledge, experience or qualifications as required by section 13 of the Tourism Act; and certain serious allegations raised by the then Acting CEO of SA Tourism, Mr Themba Khumalo regarding the lack of a proper functioning Board. 

Following legal advice, the Minister found that good cause exists to dissolve the Board and this was done officially through the Government Gazette on Friday 21 April 2023.

Persons were appointed by Minister de Lille in terms of the Tourism Act to manage the affairs of Board until the appointment of a new full Board. This was gazetted in May 2023.

An advertisement was published for nominations on 6 June 2023 for persons to serve on the SA Tourism Board and a recruitment process followed over a few months in 2023. The recruitment process was finalised and a shortlist of candidates was put forward for the appointment of persons to serve on the SA Tourism Board. 

Nominations were screened and a selection committee shortlisted 26 candidates.

The selection committee was guided by terms of reference and considered the following when assessing candidates: 

  • Knowledge, experience and qualifications relating to the function of the Board as outlined in the Tourism Act of 2014
  • Diverse exposure in tourism management and development, marketing, legal, finance and governance
  • Capacity to perform and to provide the necessary fiduciary duties as a board member 
  • Broad representability of race, gender, youth, disability and geographic spread of the country

The Minister convened an interview panel consisting of Minister de Lille, a deputy minister and tourism industry leaders.

Based on the screening and interviewing process, the Minister presented 10 persons and one departmental representative to serve on the SA Tourism Board to Cabinet for Cabinet’s consideration.

Cabinet concurred with the appointments of the following person to serve on the SA Tourism Board:

  1. Ms Makhosazana Khanyile (Chairperson) 
  2. Adv. Lizelle Dominique Jordaan (Deputy Chairperson) 
  3. Dr Gregory J. Davids
  4. Mr Ikaneng Ephraim Pilane 
  5. Prof Motlhago Stella Bavuma 
  6. Ms Nqabomzi Haya
  7. Mr Rajesh Mahabeer 
  8. Mr Ayanda V. Mazibuko
  9. Ms Maija de Rijk-Uys
  10. Dr Mzolisi Michael Toni
  11. ​Ms Uveshnee Pillay as the Department representative

The new SA Tourism Board consists of six females and five males with a range of experience and qualifications including Masters degrees, law degrees, PhDs and post graduate degrees. 

The appointments will become official and the term of the new SA Tourism Board will start once Minister de Lille officially gazettes the appointments in the coming days.

“I wish to thank the outgoing SA Tourism Board for their time and commitment in helping me to turn things around at SA Tourism,” Minister de Lille said.

Minister de Lille added: “I wish the new SA Tourism CEO and new SA Tourism Board members all the best in the endeavours and impress upon them the important fiduciary duties they have to serve SA Tourism, an entity of the Department, with diligence and commitment”. 

The Minister looks forward to working with the new leadership to continue marketing South Africa as a world class tourist destination and to grow tourism arrivals and the country’s tourism offering. This will in turn support the objectives of the Tourism Sector Master Plan and the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery plan. 

South African Department of Tourism

Visit: www.tourism.gov.za

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