The Guard

The Truth On Board

Big up to women in tourism

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – The assistant director of enterprise development entity Women in Tourism (Wit) Masekhonyana Moshesh says having structures makes it easier for the organisation to formulate and implement programmes that will suit their needs.
Moshesh, who is an administrator from the department of tourism, said this during the Free State Women in Tourism Annual Meeting AGM, the first after Covid-19, in Thabo Mofutsanyana district on Wednesday last week.

“It is beneficial to have structures that are coordinated and well run, so that when we come with certain programme initiated by women, we are able to get them in one place because we cannot possibly assist every person in their corner.”
Moshesh said although women in tourism are not assisted financially, there are programmes and opportunities offered to elevate them.

“Our real aim is to empower women to have an opportunity to play in the industry, to help in building this industry and take it forward. So far, we have nine provinces that are called chapters. As the department of tourism, we offer an opportunity for empowerment – a non-financial element meant to assist all the businesses that are within the chapters to run smoothly. Our aim is to see all these women-owned enterprises having a sustainable future and growing from strength to strength. To this effect, we are working together with provincial and local municipalities.”

For her part, the chairperson of Thabo Mofutsanyana Women in Tourism Thabo Mofutsanyana chapter, Mathoto Tlokotsi, emphasized the importance and benefits of having such a structure.

“We are able to share information and business opportunities. The department of Destea is able to assist us in different ways although they do not assist us financially; their help has made some of our business sustainable because of the knowledge we have acquired through their funded training. I have been studying with UNISA through Destea’s funding. Sometimes we are able to travel to both local and international expos to showcase our businesses.”

The director of tourism development and support, Kgotso Tau, said his first task when he took over the new position was to familiarize himself with the needs of the women in tourism.

“There are a few things that I am working on since I took over this portfolio. Let’s be serious about tourism enterprise support; secondly, let’s be serious about the transformation agenda and working towards a partnership and collaboration, to make sure there is capacity and skills development.

“We did a 360-degree assessment and all we did is to indicate to members of this organization that you are important to the tourism value chain and the success or failure of this organization is in our hands.”
Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality’ municipal manager Takatso Lebenya said hosting the Women in Tourism annual general meeting gave them leverage and an opportunity for the people to know what the district has to offer in terms of tourism.

“It is not by chance that we were chosen as the host; we have beautiful sceneries here, tourism is our number priority in Thabo Mofutsanyana and we have a very committed women committee led by Mme Mathoto Tlokotsi. We are proud of this committee. Since its election, we see women in tourism in large numbers and I believe that in Thabo Mofutsanyana they are dominating in terms of membership, compared to other districts in the Free State.”