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Clearing backlog of learner tourist guide certificates hailed

Finance and Economic Opportuunities MEC David Maynier (centre) visits previous Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards winner Abigail Mbalo (right) at her 4Roomed eKhasi Culture in Khayelitsha. Picture: Supplied

Finance and Economic Opportuunities MEC David Maynier (centre) visits previous Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards winner Abigail Mbalo (right) at her 4Roomed eKhasi Culture in Khayelitsha. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 10, 2021

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Cape Town - The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (Cathsseta) has confirmed that it has cleared the backlog for the certification of learners, including learner tourist guides, in the province.

This confirmation comes after the standing committee on economic opportunities and tourism tackled Cathsseta after it emerged that some learner guides had been waiting for up to a year to receive their certificates.

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In a letter to the committee, provincial economic development and tourism department head Solly Fourie said that the problem had been caused by a transition period during which the old system for learner enrolments closed in October 2019 and the new system opened in June 2020.

“Learners who were not captured during the transition period have now been captured on the back end of the new system. This has also resolved the issue of learners who were trained but were not on the system.”

Committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) commended Cathsseta on eliminating the backlog but said much more needed to be done to rescue the tourism industry.

“National government and its entities must prioritise the recovery of the sector which accounted for 9.1% of total employment in South Africa and injected R129.9 billion into the economy in 2019.

“A study of 400 businesses in hospitality in the Western Cape found that 66% of businesses indicated that they would lose between 75% and 100% of their income for July and August 2021. Worryingly, 33% of businesses said that they were forced to retrench staff due to the latest lockdown regulations.”

Meanwhile, Tuesday is the deadline for entries to the Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (WCERA).

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Former dental technologist and now 4Roomed eKasi Culture owner and founder Abigail Mbalo was the winner of the Township Business category in 2020.

After participating in the Master Chef SA, season 3 competition, she ditched her lab coat to start a restaurant and township tourism business.

Visiting the business, Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “This entrepreneurial spirit is exactly what we need as we work together to rebuild the economy in the Western Cape.”

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This year, a total of R300 000 in prize money will be awarded to entrepreneurs across WCERA categories, including women-owned business, township business and youth-owned business.

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Cape Argus

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