Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu took a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farmgate scandal when she encouraged tourism entrepreneurs and “wannabes” not to hide large amounts of cash brought by tourists in their houses but to bank it.
Without mentioning Ramaphosa by name and indirectly denying that she was referring to the farmgate scandal that is subject to the Hawks’ investigation, Sisulu said the money deposited into the banks will help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
She was speaking at a tourism stakeholders engagement at Jeff’s Place, a tavern in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.
The engagement presented an opportunity for small tourism business owners to raise their issues directly with the minister.
Responding to a number of issues raised, Sisulu spoke about the importance of maintaining a clean environment, which she said will attract tourists and bring in a lot of money.
“This is not just about us as a government but it’s about all of us. How do we manage our environment in such a way that it attracts tourists, because tourists bring a lot of money and ke asiyifaki phantsi kwenantsika imali yee tourists, siyisa ebank [We do not hide beneath some stuff the money that has been brought by tourists, we bank it,” she said.
Her comment sent the gathering into amusement and hilarious laughter. Seeing how the mood of the gathering had changed, Sisulu went on to say: “No! No! Not that, I don’t mean that. I speak about how the elderly handle the [old age grant] cash. It should go straight to our accounts so that we can grow.”
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