Lindiwe Sisulu takes charge as Tourism Minister of South Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Lindiwe Sisulu as minister of tourism following a cabinet reshuffle. Sisulu takes over from Mmamoloko Kubayi, who is now the Human Settlements minister.
Sisulu brings with her diverse skillset and strategic prowess to the role, even as South Africa firms up plans for international tourism recovery. Having served as member of parliament since 1994, Sisulu was also the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation from 30 May 2019 to 5 August 2021. Prior to that, she helmed the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation portfolio from 27 February 2018 to 25 May 2019. She has also served as the Minister of Public Service and Administration and the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Intelligence, Housing and Defence.
Commenting on the new appointment, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – MEISEA, South African Tourism said, “We are excited to welcome and work closely with Lindiwe Sisulu in her new capacity as Minister of Tourism, especially for the India market. Her expertise and core competencies will be crucial as we create safe experiences for the outbound Indian traveller. After a year and a half under lockdown, Indian travellers are raring to explore, contingent to strong safety measures and ease of travel. India has always been a huge market for South Africa, and this is our chance to pay back by crafting the safest holidays for those seeking to travel.”
Tourism is the backbone of the South African economy, contributing to a whopping 6.9% of the national GDP in 2019 and about 1.5 million jobs. While the nation has largely been focused on promoting domestic and intercontinental travel in recent times, the easing up of border restrictions has brought back international traveller appetite and confidence, encouraging South African Tourism to kick-start their global travel recovery plans. India is one of the top markets that the tourism board is investing in as they execute their plans, given that the country was South Africa’s 8th largest international source market prior to the pandemic.