Aligning BEE charter to codes for rapid change in tourism sector

Lihle Mtshali

Lihle Mtshali

The Tourism BEE Charter Council is currently scouring the country, soliciting views from industry stakeholders on how the Tourism BEE Charter can be aligned with the codes of good practice for broad-based black economic empowerment to bring about swifter change in the sector.

The codes, which were announced by cabinet in December and gazetted last month, contain the minimum requirements for black economic empowerment across all industries.

"The codes differ somewhat from the Tourism BEE Charter, which we have been using as a guideline," said council chairman Tami Sokutu.

"We will now align the two so that the industry can move forward along the path of transformation."

Aligning the tourism charter with the codes was necessary because it would make the charter legally binding for all companies that wished to do business with the government, said council head Sindiswa Nhlumayo.

An important aspect that has to be agreed on is the definition of an exempt micro enterprise. The codes exempt businesses with a yearly turnover of less than R5million from complying with any of the seven elements. The tourism scorecard exempts such businesses from the ownership element only.

The council will be hosting a conference next month for final consultation with all stakeholders.