Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Tourism based Black Economic Empowerment [BEE]: Initiatives for local community development

LM Magi


The South African government through a variety of tourism policies and strategies has tried to utilise the Black economic empowerment [BEE] initiative to improve economic benefits for the previously disadvantaged communities. This is to bear in mind that the BEE initiative has been criticised in that “transformation has come to represent a way of compensating
previously disadvantaged people, rather than creating opportunities for all citizens to contribute their talents and energies to the process of developing our country” (Ramphele, 2008: 265). This paper aims at discussing the viewpoints, practicalities and challenges of the tourism related BEE initiatives towards achieving community empowerment and development in KwaZulu-Natal. It also focuses on identifying tourism business opportunities available to the previously neglected communities and social groups. Some of the more specific objectives are: (a) To reveal the extent to which Black people are aware of tourism based BEE opportunities. (b) To establish the levels of tourism stakeholder participation in the BEE initiatives within the study area. (c) To investigate whether the BEE policy is perceived as contributing adequately to tourism entrepreneurship in the study area. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will reflect outcomes that represent the true nature of Black economic empowerment opportunities in the area. It was established that the implementation of BEE policies was not adequately stimulating tourism development, and needed the introduction of a new tourism strategy for entrepreneurial development.

Keywords: Black economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, tourism, tourism development, community development, previously disadvantaged communities, stakeholder, strategy, perception.

AJOL African Journals Online