Breaking Down Socio-Economic Development

What does your business need regarding B-BBEE and socio-economic development

One of the five elements of government’s policy on B-BBEE is socio-economic development. The aim is to encourage larger organisations to help previously disadvantaged people establish their own businesses to help them access the economy, sustainably.

Thebe Tourism Group believes that socio-economic development can boost our economy, if done with business sense, by spotting gaps in the market.

The World Travel and Tourism Council says that SA tourism contributed R402bn (9.3%) to the country’s GDP in 2016 and is expected to grow by 2.5% to R412.2bn (9.4%) in 2017. Although good, it’s not everything it could be. For instance, during this period white South Africans undertook 88.9% of overnight trips, almost twice as frequent as other population groups, with black South Africans at 43.8%, coloureds 32.5%, and Indian and Asians 34.5% of trips.

Of all these trips undertaken by black people in 2016, 73% were to visit friends and relatives, while 4.4% stayed in self-catering accommodation and 4.1% stayed in hotels. Only 9% of the trips were for leisure. Compare that to the 60% of white people who travelled for leisure. A massive disparity.

The black middle-class isn’t travelling for leisure, and herein lies the opportunity. We need to better cater for this market by developing locally based products in townships and villages as well as more heritage tourism routes.

Socio-economic development should be about spotting the gap so that empowerment can enable long-term sustainability. For this reason the Thebe Tourism Group has partnered with a company that is pioneering group travel in Africa, Soul Traveller Tours, to serve the needs of the domestic traveller and rejuvenate domestic travel.

If just 10% of this market is converted into leisure travellers, with a conservative estimate of an overnight spend of R1633, this would equate to R2.3bn extra revenue for the country. So, by investing in a company that serves the previously neglected market groups, we’re expanding the pie. Socio-economic development done sustainably.

By Jerry Mabena | CEO | Thebe Tourism Group

Source: Financial Mail Business Essentials | 08 November 2017 (

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