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The South African Deputy-Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, visited the SA College for Tourism on Friday, 7 March. In the wake of South Africa signing up for the UN International Woman’s Day Commemoration, this year entitled Equality for Woman is Progress for All: Inspiring Change, Ms Xasa dovetailed her visit to college with this theme, as it is the focus of the college’s training programme.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Ms Cynthia Tshambo explained that the Class of 2014 come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and different countries, which they all find very enriching.
The only thing they all have in common, is that they hail from very poor families and would not have had the opportunity for tertiary education, had it not been for the college bursaries.
Cynthia closed her remarks by appealing to Ms Xasa to encourage tourism establishments to employ the SA College for Tourism students.
Referring to the UN Woman’s Day theme, Equality for Woman is Progress for All: Inspiring Change, Deputy-Minister Xasa encouraged the students to make the most of the wonderful opportunity afforded to them by the college.
Like Dr Anton Rupert, who founded the college, she firmly believes in the famous words: educate a woman and you educate a nation.
Comparing herself, the sixth of seven siblings who grew up with a single mother, and then with family members from the age of 10 when her mother passed away, she said that the education the students were receiving would turn out to be a very powerful weapon in their quest to escape deprived backgrounds.
Her advice to the students was to not think of themselves as just waitresses or chefs, but as entrepreneurs in the making.
Ms Xasa undertook to approach the tourism industry and her own department to support the college in its endeavours, thereby providing a shining example of a private/public enterprise.
The visit was concluded with lunch, eagerly prepared and served by the students.
Peace Parks Foundation proudly supports the SA College for Tourism. The college was established in 2001 by the late Dr Anton Rupert, then chairman of Peace Parks Foundation. The foundation’s long-term support of the SA College for Tourism serves to develop staff for the many peace parks tourism initiatives.