Airport extensions: Statement by James Vos MP, Shadow Minister of Tourism
The Airports Company of South Africa chairman is quoted saying that the planned upgrading of the Cape Town International Airport might not happen. Below are extracts taken from an online Tourism publication called Tourism Update wherein he provides comments.
If this is the case and these projects get suspended, it will have devastating effects on the travel and trade industry.
“The continued uncertainty in regulatory permission outcomes affects our ability to set accurate medium-term plans for the improvement of our airport operations,” says Chairman of Acsa, Skhumbuzo Macozoma.
“With the exception of certain planning activities, the company has postponed all new capacity investments, including the re-alignment of the runway and terminal improvements at Cape Town International Airport and the addition of aprons at OR Tambo.”
Tourism depends on transportation to bring visitors, while the transportation industry which includes airport infrastructure depends on tourism to generate demand for its services.
Therefore the upgrading of the Cape Town International Airport is central to our strategy to advance travel and trade opportunities to our province and country.
Tourism is our fastest-growing sector, employing over 200 000 people and generating R17bn for our province’s economy each year.
The growth in the tourism industry directly reflects onto the air transportation.
This achievement was made possible through collaboration that makes business sense and drives demand.
The Airlift Strategy creates Market Accessibility, Increased Airlift and More Direct Access.
Through this dedicated Air Access strategy, the Western Cape province is targeting direct routes from key strategic markets.
To date many more routes have been implemented resulting in over half a million more two-way direct seats coming into Cape Town. Since July last year, this additional capacity has generated roughly R3bn in additional tourism spend for the Western Cape.
I will make use of parliamentary processes such as the submission of members’ statements to highlight the importance of having these airport extensions continue for the reasons provided above. I will also follow-up with motions and questions in Parliament to ensure that these announcements by ACSA does not impact on the planned upgradings and that these projects continue without any delay.
It is reported that the entity has made profits in the previous financial years. Thus the planning should have included these envisaged projects in their budgets. The fact of the matter is that these upgradings were announced a while ago with much participation from authorities and public, including environmental impact assessments and forward planning as is the case with the airlift strategy to attract more direct routes and flights with the objective of attracting more investment and business opportunities. In addition we need these airport extensions to accommodate for the additional routes from several key source market countries.
For every 12 tourists visiting our shores, one job is created. Therefore we need these infrastructure upgradings to stimulate travel and trade, and destination enhancement. Tourism creates jobs. Currently, one in 22 employed people in South Africa work in the tourism industry, representing 4,5% of the total workforce.
JAMES VOS, MP
Member of Parliament
Shadow Minister of Tourism
Mobile phone 0762773351
Email [email protected]