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Tharage Reappointed As Department Of Tourism Director General

Deputy Director General: Mr Victor Tharage

RENOWNED government administrator Victor Tharage has been re-appointed as Director-General of the Department of Tourism. Announcing the rehiring of the esteemed public servant, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has she was pleased to announce the reappointment of distinguished bureaucrat, who will continue to serve in his role as his five-year contract resumes with effect from 1 September.

Tharage’s reappointment comes at a time when the whole world, South Africa included, is engulfed with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has rendered the tourism sector totally inactive. The sector is faced with possible business closures and a massive loss of jobs.

The minister said government, together with the sector is working tirelessly to lessen the impact of the pandemic and more importantly to develop a tourism recovery plan for the post-Covid-19 period.

“These efforts require the Department of Tourism to have a sturdy hand at the helm and Mr Tharage is the ideal fit. Mr Tharage has more than 16 years at senior management level in government, most of which he spent in the tourism sector and the broader public sector. Over the years, he has demonstrated an abundance of strategic and operational knowledge of the needs of the tourism sector, making him best suited for steering the sector out of the current crisis. “I am personally very pleased that government and the sector have been able to retain a dedicated civil servant with his calibre, track record and further potential. With his deep knowledge of tourism and experience, I believe that Mr Tharage is the best person to lead the department and the sector through the Covid-19 crisis and in the post-Covid-19 recovery period,” said Minster Kubayi-Ngubane. Mr Tharage is a respected senior civil servant with many achievements, including the Best Director General award. The combination of his experience as a public servant, drive and commitment to the Batho Pele principle will serve him well in helping the sector to get to the next level of growth and development.

Tharage was first appointed to the senior position under former Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. Tharage, who held the post of Deputy Director-General: Policy and Knowledge Services, assumed his duties from 1 September 2015.

“Tourism has been acknowledged as a top economic contributor in South Africa, and we are well positioned to continue transforming the sector for the benefit of all. I am confident that Victor is the most suitable candidate to steer us along this new growth path as head of the department,” Hanekom said at the time.

Tharage brings a wealth of expertise to the role, with almost two decades of public service experience under his belt. This includes several years at senior management levels, of which more than half has been in executive leadership positions. Tharage has been at the helm of the department in an acting capacity since the beginning of this year.

His reappointment came after he demonstrated his leadership ability for several months, working with staff and managing relations with key stakeholders. Tharage’s solid government background and his experience in the tourism sector since 2001 underpins his strategic understanding of its priorities and challenges. His sound and professional relationships with stakeholders were the requisite attributes that catapulted him to the Director General position.

In the midst of the devastating corona virus, Tharage will have to navigate through rough waters to promote and support the growth and development of an equitable, competitive and sustainable tourism sector, enhancing its contribution to national priorities.

Among his core functions will be to manage the provision of strategic governance and corporate management services; manage the provision of financial and supply chain management services; manage the provision of internal audit services in the department; manage strategic political and policy direction for the development of South Africa’s tourism potential throughout the world; manage strategic political and policy direction for the development and growth of sustainable domestic tourism throughout South Africa; and manage strategic tourism sector policy development, monitoring, research and knowledge management services.