South Africa—Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP)

Client: Business Trust and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism South Africa

Duration: 2000-2010

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: South Africa

Solutions: Governance

Under apartheid, most South Africans were restricted from traveling freely, owning land, or making investments in areas of their choice. The result: an undeveloped culture of tourism and a lack of appreciation of the economic opportunities presented by tourism. To this day, the industry remains predominantly white-owned and -controlled, catering largely to white and foreign tourists. At the same time, unemployment in South Africa has been rising since the 1970s. After intensive consultation, business and government leaders settled on tourism as the sector most likely to yield sizeable numbers of job opportunities in the shortest time. The Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP) was initially launched as a four-year national job creation initiative in July 2000. Following good performance in Phase I, TEP was granted extensions through March 2010, which enabled the program to broaden its range of stakeholders and emerge as a powerful catalyst for small, medium-sized, and microenterprise (SMME) participation in industry growth and job creation. TEP worked with the SMMEs by assessing their constraints to growth—recognizing that jobs can only be created by businesses that are growing sustainably—then jointly identifying appropriate ways to address those constraints.

Sample Activities

  • Assess constraints to growth for small, medium-sized, and microenterprises.
  • Identify appropriate ways to address those constraints.

Select Results

  • More than 3,100 participating SMMEs increased revenue by R2.1 billion in the first six years.
  • More than 30,500 jobs created in the first six years.
  • Assisted 1,600 enterprises to obtain new business.


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