SAT partners with Nedbank to empower Women in Tourism

Banking giant, Nedbank and South African Tourism (SAT) said they are excited to announce the second phase of the innovative empowerment initiative to promote black women in the tourism sector.

The Women in Tourism Entrepreneurship Training Programme is an inspiring 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 industry.

After a nationwide search, 25 women in each province – 225 in total – out of over 400 applicants have been selected to participate in the programme.

During the first phase, which was launched in October last year, Nedbank, SAT and McGeralds Entrepreneurship Centre issued a call for women to participate in this move to kick-start the tourism sector, which is much needed to ensure that women are the catalyst for transformative economic growth and job creation.

This partnership and agreement between Nedbank and SAT support the Department of Tourism’s Women in Tourism (WiT) Programme.

Nirmala Reddy, Enterprise Development Manager for Nedbank Business Banking said “As a bank, Nedbank is committed to supporting the empowerment of women across our initiatives. 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. Our purpose is to use our financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses, and society. Our tourism sector has been challenged severely during the 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,’ adds Reddy.

The Acting Chief Operating Officer of South African Tourism, Hanneli Slabber, said that: “We have seen many tourism businesses and establishments close shop over the past two years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SAT is committed to doing all we can to rebuild and reignite our sector. This Women in Tourism initiative is a great tool in contributing to assist many 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.”

Since it started in 2013, the WiT initiative has served as a mechanism to elevate the status of women in tourism by providing training, empowerment, and networking opportunities that facilitate their competitiveness as entrepreneurs, professionals, and leaders.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, Sthembiso Dlamini, said statistics from the United Tourism World Organisation (UNWTO) show that although women make up the majority of employment in the tourism industry, and besides them being well represented in service and clerical level jobs, they are represented poorly at professional levels and in leadership positions.

He said “Currently, many women are excluded from the formal economy and still find themselves in low-paying jobs and economic sectors, while those who are lucky enough to find a job never make it to middle or top management, particularly in the private sector.”

In partnership with the more critical tourism sector, SAT is committed to doing all we can to rebuild and reignite our sector to 2019 levels and beyond. She says that partners like this one with Nedbank are crucial, because they are about collaboration for inclusive economic growth.



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