Welcoming guests and students at the event on 12 September 2023, Dr Portia Sifolo, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Tourism Management, said TUT is a vibrant people’s University that makes knowledge work and attracts scholarships by working together with various stakeholders to improve teaching, learning and research engagement with industry.
“Our University is committed to breaking down academic ivory towers by finding authentic and enduring solutions to our communities and their challenges. We are trying to solve what used to be the triple challenge – poverty, unemployment and inequality, however, GBV has become an equally tough challenge to address in our country. The Department endeavours to empower our graduates to successfully negotiate and work in the rapidly changing world and be able to access markets internationally as well,” she said.
“Working towards the recovery of the Tourism sector, is a key priority. This event has quite an impact on this recovery as well as ensuring future developments. We are grateful for this chance to unpack some of the opportunities available out there to help our students to become future ready,” she added.
"Tourism Month 2023 celebrated Tourism and Green Investment. Hence, Proudly SA’s presence, partnership and involvement visibly demonstrate their support of TUT investing in people by prioritising education. To our esteemed guests, your presence symbolises your support of TUT’s commitment to its moral purpose of being a people’s University - we empower communities and transform society,” she said.
“It is through such events that we fulfil our mandate of cultivating new frontiers of knowledge through innovative teaching and learning. Through collaboration with others, we contribute towards the broader goal of reducing unemployment whilst stimulating economic growth. Students should be our ambassadors and continue to foster cultural exchanges and global understanding,” she concluded.
Addressing the students and guests, Happy Makhumalo Ngidi, Chief Marketing Officer of Proudly South Africa, said her organisation is a buy local movement, which is imperative and necessary for the betterment of our economy.
“Our mandate is about educating South Africa on the importance of buying locally manufactured products. We want people to think globally but act locally. If we choose to buy everything that is imported, we are basically creating jobs for those countries – because there is demand,” she said.
“The importance of localisation is the fact that you create more jobs for South Africans, while at the same time you develop skills, improve living standards and increase the GDP. For those of you who will be starting your own businesses or join the eco system, Proudly SA will give you access to markets,” she added.
The panel discussions focused mainly on issues like the effects of COVID-19 and how it affected the tourism sector; starting your own business; registering for patents and intellectual property rights; and work integrated learning opportunities available for students.
The panel comprised of Happy Makhumalo Ngidi, Chief Marketing Officer (Proudly South African; Rebone Majola, Regional Manager (NYDA); Lerato Rakgosi, Group Sale Manager (Southern Sun Hotels); Lumka Dlomo, Tourism Marketing Manager (Johannesburg Tourism; and Dr Rosa Naude-Potgieter, Lecturer (Department of Tourism Management). The discussions were facilitated by Lebo Lion, renowned speaker, author, podcaster and influencer.