I would like to thank you for the opportunity of joining you for this informal lunch with representatives the hospitality industry here in the Western Cape.
I want you all to know that my business is business and I will be working hard to build strong partnerships with the private sector, and associations representing the private sector, such as yourselves, in the Western Cape.
I have, as some of you may know, spent the past ten years in parliament, relentlessly pursuing some of the biggest crooks in the country, and trying to crack some of the biggest corruption cases in the country, with limited success, you may have noticed.
However, I am now in government and, as Tony Blair once remarked, I am now in the business of “doing something”, rather than the business of “saying something”.
And, I have to say that actually “doing something” in government is proving a little more challenging than just “saying something” in opposition.
I am still in the process of being “read in”, but have already been confronted with some hard issues, one of which dropped onto my desk one morning in a file ominously marked: “Tourism Amendment Bill, 2019”.
Let me be clear, I have not developed a final position on the issue, but at first glance the Bill seems to me to be a bad Bill, because it is the kind of Bill that would have pleased Julius Caesar.
The broad definition of “short term home rentals”, taken together with the power to determine “norms and standards” by regulation, after nominal consultation with provinces, seems to me to give too much discretion to the national executive, and by implication too much power to the national executive, to regulate the sector in the Western Cape.
Which is not the same as saying that the sector should not be regulated, and which is exactly the conversation that I look forward to having in future engagements, with members of the hospitality industry, and associations representing the hospitality industry, including FEDHASA.
I would like to conclude by assuring your that my business is business, and my door will always be open to assist you dealing with any challenges that confront the hospitality industry, and your members, in the Western Cape.