by NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – MORE than 200 women are to benefit from the second phase of an initiative to promote black females in South Africa’s tourism industry.
The Women in Tourism Entrepreneurship (WiT) training programme is an entrepreneurship development initiative designed to create a knowledge foundation, provide mentorship and eventually, open markets to black-women-owned small, medium and microenterprises operating in the sector.
Nedbank and South African Tourism have announced 225 participants – 25 in each province- selected for the initiative.
The resumption of the second phase culminated in 25 women in the KwaZulu-Natal entrepreneurs receiving their first training session.
The training has been broken down into three phases covering different modules in Business Planning and Financial Management, Marketing Strategy and Sales as well as Human Resources, Operations and Risk Management.
“As a bank, Nedbank is committed to supporting the empowerment of women across our initiatives,” said Nirmala Reddy, Enterprise Development Manager for Nedbank Business Banking.
“Using our financial expertise to do good goes far beyond banking – we embrace our role in society as a change agent and building our nation. The WiT initiative will contribute significantly to this.”
Reddy noted the local tourism sector has been challenged severely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But we have a good opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work together to boost the recovery to grow the economy and create jobs,” Reddy added.
During the first phase launched in October last year, Nedbank, SA Tourism and McGeralds Entrepreneurship Centre issued a call for women to participate in the sector and ensure they were the catalyst for transformative economic growth and job creation.
Hanneli Slabber, Acting Chief Operating Officer of SA Tourism, bemoaned that many tourism businesses and establishments closed shop over the past two years due to the impact of the pandemic.
“South African Tourism is committed to doing all we can to rebuild and reignite our sector,” Slabber assured.
The executive said WiT was a great tool in contributing to assist women-owned businesses to be optimally functional and ready to receive domestic, regional and international travellers as the sector gradually recovers.
“Many women are still not part of the formal economy and are largely in low-paying jobs compared to their male counterparts. It is time this changed,” Slabber said.
– CAJ News