Even when things for tourism in South Africa seem to be at an absolute low point (Due to the Lockdowns imposed by the ANC government) there are positive stories emerging. One such story is the success of the Youth initiative from Tourism Green Coast (TGC).
The award-winning government youth tourism initiative, TGC has helped young people from the Wild Coast find jobs or start their own business in the tourism industry.
TGC is part of the Extended Public Works Program of the Department of Tourism and is being implemented by the South Africa Wildlife and Environment Society (WESSA).
As a result of the two-year program, 119 young people from the Eastern Cape obtained a National Certificate in Tourism Guiding, which has enabled them to improve skills and gain work experience at different tourism establishments along the Wild Coast.
“The Green Coast Stewards participated in a comprehensive training program, with accredited and non-accredited courses. They attended contact sessions and applied new knowledge and skills through work assignments and practical activities, such as Green Coast monitoring, coastal clean-ups and environmental education targeting communities and local schools,”
~ Kerry Mclean, WESSA project manager.
Thirty-two of the young people involved have found permanent jobs and seven have registered their own ventures, while the rest want to start their own business or continue their studies.
“We were inspired by the number of participants who have or are attempting to start their own business. It is our hope that as tourism resumes, these budding entrepreneurs are supported sufficiently to make a success of their enterprises. We also hope more jobs will become available and that our graduates will gain full-time employment,”
The TGC project was a Gold Winner in the Biodiversity category of the 2020 Eco-Logic Awards as it has had such a positive impact.
One of the graduates, 28-year-old Sanelise Dasoyi from Coffee Bay, says she has been supported on several levels by the TGC program.
“I was able to pay my UNISA fees for nature conservation studies and secured permanent employment as a project manager at the Sustainable Coffee Bay non-profit organisation,”
~ Dasoyi, who aims to start a small business for tourists to Coffee Bay.
Visit WESSA’s website www.wessa.org.za or Facebook page for information about upcoming programs.