Land minister lauds Cape Town's use of tourism to create jobs | Fin24
 
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Land minister lauds Cape Town's use of tourism to create jobs

May 12 2016 14:43
Jenni Evans, News24

Cape Town - Cape Town is using its tourism assets well in dealing with unemployment and other municipalities could do the same, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Thursday.

"It's not a political thing, it's a [sic] common sense," said Nkwinti, dipping a toe into a place the African National Congress does not usually venture - the apparent successes of the only province it does not govern.

He was asked whether government should consider good governance at local authority level to tackle unemployment. The Cape Town metro was found to be one of only two metropolitan municipalities to record job gains, according to the latest unemployment statistics.

Last week, Statistics SA reported that six of the country's eight metropolitan municipalities recorded job losses between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

The biggest losses were in the eThekwini (144 000) and Ekurhuleni (111 000) metros. The City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay recorded employment gains of 4 000 and 3 000 people respectively.

He was speaking at a post-Cabinet meeting briefing, squeezed between Parliament's busy budget vote schedule. During the programme, many Cabinet ministers and politicians descend on the Mother City to debate the budgets of various government departments.

He said the city used assets like Table Mountain and Robben Island to tackle unemployment through partnerships with the private sector.

Nkwinti marveled over sign language interpreters at some establishments and hotel staff who remembered their returning visitors.

"Someone coming to Cape Town today will be an ambassador for South Africa," said the minister, who is better known for positions on the prickly topic of land reform.

Cape Town could only have pulled this off with the help of the private sector, he said. He urged other municipalities to have a good look at what was unique to their region so they could do the same.

However, the contradictions in the city were glaring, he continued. There was outrage over conditions in Masiphumelele, for example, where residents were unhappy about their living conditions.

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