TOURISM GREEN COAST PROJECT SUMMARY REPORT (2018-2020) HARNESSING POTENTIAL FOR INCLUSIVE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ON THE WILD COAST
Prepared by Kerry Mclean, August 2020
What is Tourism Green Coast?
What has Tourism Green Coast achieved so far?
Green Coast development
TGC host employers
Environmental education and coastal clean-ups 9
Stipend and exit statistics
Stories of change
Recognition for Tourism Green Coast
What have we learnt so far?
TGC breaks down barriers
Barriers still needing attention
Improvements to the TGC model
Where to from here?
The Tourism Green Coast (TGC) Project is funded by the Department of Tourism (DT) through the Expanded Publics Work Programme (EPWP) and implemented by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). The pilot has tested a sustainable development model that trains youth while identifying and supporting the preparation of coastal sites to apply for the Green Coast Award. This is achieved through stake-holder engagement, youth skills development, environ- mental monitoring, environmental education and awareness and community facilitation. The long-term aim of these interventions is to support inclusive sustainable livelihood development in rural coastal communities while accruing long term benefits to people and the environment. Tourism Green Coast promotes marine and coastal conservation by encouraging public and private participation with sustainable tourism and small scale enterprise development as key drivers towards the long term aim. The primary target stakeholder group is the youth residing in coastal communities rich in natural and cultural assets. Previously unemployed youth from low income households are recruited to take on the role of Green Coast Stewards and become caretakers of and ambassadors for their destinations. Local tourism business host Green Coast Stewards for a two-year period providing mentoring and workplace experience while they complete their Tourism Guiding qualification. Upon graduating, Stewards are either absorbed by their host employers, find employment, study further or start their own businesses all contributing to local economies. Government institutions fund and steer the project and support the development of Green Coast sites. Scientific institutions and agencies make use of ecological data generated by Green Coast monitoring which hopefully inform management decisions in the long run. WHAT IS TOURISM GREEN COAST?
The project has targeted 21 sensitive coastal sites along the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa that are currently being utilized for low impact tourism and which include local community members into the tourism operations in the region. The Wild Coast is rich in biodiversity, cultural heritage and low impact tourism potential, making it a prime location for Green Coast. The Wild Coast faces ever increasing challenges that threaten the environ- mental and social integrity of this extraordinary region of South Africa. The model aims to address several critical social, economic and environ- mental challenges impacting on the country’s ability to achieve its sustainable development goals. These include increasing youth unemploy- ment, marginalisation and disempowerment of rural youth, and unsustainable development and resource utilisation. SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE WILD COAST” “TOURISM GREEN COAST IS TRAINING FOR JOBS & SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WHILE
WHAT HAS TOURISM GREEN COAST ACHIEVED SO FAR?
This section highlights the milestones associated with project deliverables followed by the Stories of Change representing the qualitative impact of the project. Project achievements are measured against a sustainable development perspective, namely people, places and productive regenerative local economies.
Tourism Green Coast contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
A TOTAL OF 137 YOUTH ENROLLED IN THE TOURISM GREEN COAST LEARNERSHIP WITH 119 GRADUATING WITH A TOURISM GUIDING NATIONAL CERTIFICATE AT NQF LEVEL 2 AND A 98% COMPETENCY RATE.
Green Coast Stewards participate in a com- prehensive training programme with both accredited and non-accredited courses. Stewards attend contact sessions and apply new know- ledge and skills through workplace assignments and practical activities such as Green Coast monitoring, coastal clean ups and environmental education targeting communities and local schools. Capacitated and confident youth exit the programme to become agents of change. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
117 120 YOUTH TRAINED IN FIRST AID LEVEL 1 YOUTH TRAINED IN LIFEGUARDING BASICS
129 YOUTH TRAINED IN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
115 YOUTH TRAINED IN ECOLOGY AND GREEN COAST CRITERIA
YOUTH TRAINED IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
45 YOUTH INTRODUCED TO CHILDSAFE (CHILD PROTECTION IN TRAVEL & TOURISM)
YOUTH SELECTED FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACCELERATION WORKSHOP (SOCIONEXT)
GREEN COAST DEVELOPMENT
*FULL STATUS GREEN COAST SITES
AMATHOLE OR TAMBO
PORT ST JOHNS
GAUTENG NORTH WEST
KING SABATA DALINDYEBO
PORT ST JOHNS 1st BEACH PORT ST JOHNS 2nd BEACH SILAKA
21 PILOT GREEN COAST SITES ESTABLISHED WITH 5 SITES OFFICIALLY AWARDED WITH GREEN COAST STATUS [BASELINE ECOLOGICAL AND ECO-TOURISM DATA GENERATED FOR EACH SITE]
HLULEKA MNGCIBE MDUMBI
MORGAN BAY* HAGA HAGA CHINTSA* YELLOWSANDS KEI MOUTH*
COFFEE BAY WHITE CLAY HOLE IN THE WALL
LUBANZI BULUNGULA * DWESA NQABARA
TGC HOST EMPLOYERS
A crucial component of the Tourism Green Coast model is the workplace experience and mentoring. TGC has partnered with the following host employers during 2018/20 funding cycle:
KING SABATA DALINDYEBO
MBOTYI RIVER LODGE
OCEAN VIEW HOTEL CORAM DEO FRIENDS BACKPACKERS
KEI SANDS ACCOMMODATION/ HANDY HOUSE NEPTUNE’S COVE KEI MOUTH LIBRARY & SHELL MUSEUM SNACK SHACK BUSHPIGS LODGE & EVENTS BAR KEI MOUTH GUESTHOUSE KEI MOUTH COUNTRY CLUB YELLOWWOODS FOREST MITFORD HOTEL MORGAN BAY HOTEL GREAT KEI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY HAGA HAGA CONSERVANCY & HOTEL CRAWFORDS LODGE EMERALD VALE BREWERY & LODGE BUCCANEERS LODGE AREENA RIVERSIDE RESORT IMONTI TOURS SOUTHERN CROSS CRUISES LUCOLO PLACE
PORT ST JOHNS
COFFEE SHACK BACKPACKERS & SUSTAINABLE COFFEE BAY NPO WHITE CLAY RESORT HOLE IN THE WALL HOTEL
BAMBA LODGE PSJ RIVER LODGE SPOTTED GRUNTER PSJ TOURISM INFO CENTRE (PSJ LM) UMZIMVUBU RETREAT OUTSPAN INN PHOLELA LODGE AMAPONDO BACKPACKERS SILAKA RESERVE (ECPTA)
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND COASTAL CLEAN UPS ARE A KEY COMPONENT OF GREEN COAST DEVELOPMENT
11 SCHOOLS REGISTERED FOR THE ECO-SCHOOLS PROGRAMME [STEWARDS SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PROJECTS]
COASTAL CLEAN UP EVENTS (2018-2019)
The stipend provides 2 years of financial security. A total of R9 102 987 was injected into the host communities through Steward’s Stipends. Stewards earned on average R3 230 per month for 24 months. The stipend enabled: STIPEND AND EXIT STATISTICS
Direct support to families The building of houses and other structures
Paying off student debt Saving for future studies The development of small businesses (infrastructure and equipment) Driving lessons and drivers licence test
36 % 30 % 38 %
OF PARTICIPANTS HAVE STARTED OR PLAN TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES
ARE FORMALLY REGISTERED
ENROLLED IN FURTHER STUDIES FOR 2021 ACADEMIC YEAR*
OF PARTICIPANTS ARE FORMALLY EMPLOYED
OF PARTICIPANTS ARE CURRENTLY JOB SEEKING*
*These statistics are severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown and economic fall-out.
STORIES OF CHANGE The previously noted statistics in no way capture the real impact of the project which has touched the minds and hearts of the participating youth. The Green Coast Stewards are forever changed through their participation in the project. Each participant has a TGC story. A few of these stories are highlighted below.
KHANYISA HLOHLA, 36 MANKOSI, NQILENI
SANELISE DASOYI, 28 COFFEE BAY, MQANDULI
ALEX TSHIJILA, 26 MORGAN BAY, GREAT KEI
LUSINDISO ‘QUICKS’ SONAMZI, 38 MORGAN BAY, GREAT KEI
“I have managed to help the youth of my community by getting involved in the Mankosi Skills Development Centre (SDC) as a TGC steward. I am now the Project Manager of the SDC and member of the Transcape Board.” Khanyisa was hosted at Mdumbi Back- packers during which she found time to volunteer at a local grassroot NPO, Transcape, which implements health and education community development initiatives in the Mankosi region of the Wild Coast. Khanyisa was elected as a member of the Transcape Board in 2019 and is currently managing the Mankosi Skills Development Centre. Khanyisa has blossomed into a natural leader who is passionate about uplifting the youth in her area. Khanyisa also participates as a Youth Leader in the recently formed National Youth Resilience Initiative.
“I was able to pay for my UNISA fees, secured permanent employment be- cause of TGC and saved to start my small business.” Sanelise was placed with Coffee Shack Backpackers and their affiliated NPO, Sustainable Coffee Bay. Sanelise has also been studying Nature Conservation at UNISA. Participating in the TGC Learnership enabled Sanelise to under- stand the connection between conser- vation and sustainable tourism. Sanelise has become an asset to Sustainable Coffee Bay and remains employed as a Project Manager after graduating from TGC. Sanelise noticed a gap in the tourism market and plans to launch a small business that caters to unique experiences for visitors to Coffee Bay.
“My life changed drastically after being involved with TGC. I have started my tour guiding business, and want to study further and grow myself in tourism as a professional and business owner.” Alex was hosted at the Morgan Bay Hotel and is determined to pursue a career in tour guiding. Alex is a natural guide and has been working together with his peers to develop new trails and authentic experiences in Morgan Bay and to get their business registered and up and running. Alex has honed his guiding skills learnt new things about guiding in the coastal environment.
“I am now ready to guide tourists with my licence. Thanks to the TGC. I am really grateful.” Quicks has been guiding in Morgan Bay and surrounds for more than 16 years, yet he has never been able to register formally as a guide as he did not have the required training. With the Tourism Guiding qualification under his belt he has developed his skills and knowledge further and can now register with the provincial authority. Quick and Alex are working together to grow their tour guiding business.
SINOVUYO LUNDA, 22 LUBANZI, ELLIOTDALE
ANDISWA DEVU, 30 PORT ST JOHNS
GCINISILE CELE, 27 EAST LONDON
SIGOTYANA, 31 PORT ST JOHNS
“TGC has helped me in terms of exposure to the tourism industry, selling the Eastern Cape as a tourism destination.” Andiswa was hosted by the Port St Johns Tourism Information Centre where she developed an interest in marketing her town, province and country to visitors. Andiswa is currently developing a transfers and tours business that will service the area.
“TGC changed my life with the ex- perience and skills development. It has enabled me to pursue my dreams.” Gcinisile was hosted by Areena River- side Resort and Imonti Tours. Imonti Tours supported her to register as a guide and funded her driving lessons. Gcinisile was involved in the develop- ment of new and exciting tours around East London, such as the Buffalo City Walking Tour which targeted day visitors from the cruise liners. Her dream was to become an educator and she now holds a teaching post teaching Tourism to high school learners.
“I have started my business because of TGC and my host. I am registered. I will use the knowledge that I have received in my kayaking business.” Sinovuyo was supported by his host, Wild Lubanzi and the Youth Tourism SA organisation to develop and register his kayaking business. Lubanzi Kayak Adventures takes guests up the Mcwasa River in the Lubanzi region. Sinovuyo is always looking for ways to improve his offering. Sinovuyo is linked with other youth owned kayaking businesses in Mdumbi, Coffee Bay and Port St Johns.
“I have been involved with supporting local schools to become Eco Schools during my time with TGC and decided to continue even after the project. Another great thing that changed my life was the entrepreneurship workshop which inspired me to start my own business.” Alfred was hosted by Amapondo Back- packers in Port St Johns. Alfred was inspired to start PondoAlf, a photo- graphy and printing business, that targets local schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his business, but he is confident it will pick up in 2021. Alfred is looking for support with business training and equipment to grow his business.
AKONA MQIKELA, 33 EAST LONDON
SONWABO KHANGELA, 35 PORT ST JOHNS
SIPHAMANDLA MAKHAYA, 26 LUBANZI
SIBUSISO PHAKADE, 36 MNGCIBE
“Before TGC I was a Tourism Manage- ment graduate, but I could not find work. I have gained a lot of experience from different departments in the industry, I have gained knowledge and skills.” Akona was hosted by Areena Riverside Resort, Imonti Tours and towards the end of the programme Southern Cross Cruises. She has grown significantly through her participation in TGC and gained the experience she so desperately needed to enter the industry. Akona has been absorbed by Southern Cross Cruises, the only licensed Whale watching operation in East London, and is set on pursuing a career as a marine guide.
“I now understand what tourism is and what it can do for a country and improving people’s lives. I am also well experienced now with 2 years in the bag.” Sonwabo is always looking for ways to get involved in campaigns and events that aim to uplift his community. After the entrepreneurship workshop he was inspired to start his own kayaking business. He now owns four kayaks and has started taking clients up the Umzimvubu River. He is looking for support for additional equipment such as lifejackets and extra boats. He also wants to hone his business skills.
“TGC has taught me communication skills and given me the confidence to start my own business.” Siphamandla ‘Spha’ was hosted at Wild Lubanzi backpackers. Spha was introduced by his host to spekboom and its carbon sequestering quality as well as to organisations supporting and funding the production of spekboom. Spha has gone on to develop a spek- boom nursery on his property which he continually expands. He has registered his business which is doing well.
“My life changed when I joined TGC. My behaviour towards the environment has changed and I have learned about the importance of starting your own business.” Sibusiso “Sbu” was hosted by Freedom o’ Clock Backpackers. Sbu has started to develop his own backpackers on his property which overlooks the Mdumbi bay. Sbu is committed to uplifting his community and enjoys facilitating beach clean ups and environmental education activities with the school children from the local school.
LUYANDA MATSOBOYI, 35 MDUMBI
AVUYILE NOMTHULO, 23 MDUMBI
LWANDO MANYEKE, 25 PORT ST JOHNS
MATHABO VELDMAN, 38 CHINTSA
“I managed to save R40 000 from my stipend. I saved R2000 every month and started to build 2 Rondawels for my backpackers and restaurant. I have learned a lot from TGC.” Luyanda was hosted by Mdumbi Backpackers and was incredibly disciplined about saving money in order to build two Rondawels which he is setting up as a Homestay. He also hopes to build a restaurant rondawel soon. He is looking forward to hosting visitors to Mdumbi.
“TGC gave me the skills necessary to seek employment, I am now employed and hoping to start my coffee shop business soon.” Avuyile is passionate about agro- ecology and has been volunteering at Transcape NPO to support agro- ecology projects in his community. Avuyile has developed a business plan for a coffee shop/cocktail bar that would overlook Mdumbi Beach. He also gained the confidence and skills need to secure a full-time position as community liaison officer for an electrification project in the area.
“I am now working for MSC cruises travelling the world. Thanks to TGC, the experience is the best ever.” Lwando was recruited via Harambee into a programme that resulted in employment with MSC working on cruise ships. Lwando gained valuable skills and experience through TGC which has seen him being rapidly promoted to front of house duties. Lwando has travelled all over the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea. Experiencing the world in this way has broadened his perspective on life.
“TGC has helped me financially, because I managed to save money to open my fast food business. The entrepreneurship workshop also opened my eyes on the business side. Not everyone must be employed, you can be self-employed.” Mathabo has been working in the hospitality sector for many years but had a yearning to try something new. She managed to save enough money from her stipend to develop her business. She has opened a spaza shop and a fast food outlet in Chintsa and hopes to open a sit-down restaurant in the near future.
RECOGNITION FOR TOURISM GREEN COAST
The Green Coast Programme/ Tourism Green Coast project was a Gold Winner in the Bio-diversity category in the 2020 Eco-Logic Awards. The Judges had this to say about Tourism Green Coast:
“This project combines all the elements of Eco- Logic. It is focused on an important biodiversity region and is engaging the youth to ensure its future in a sustainable manner. It supports skills development and job creation and aims to create a sustainable future built on passion for the environment. Among the beneficiaries are the local communities. We feel that this model should be replicated on a national scale as its impact could be beneficial and far reaching. Given the post-COVID need to build a better and greener future, this kind of model has a lot to offer!”
The Ford Wildlife Foundation not only sponsors the Tourism Green Coast project vehicle but is also the funder of the Eco- Logic Biodiversity Award.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT SO FAR?
TGC BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS
TGC provides a stepping stone for youth. The 2-year learnership creates a career-pathing environment filtering out the entrepreneurs that go on to start small enterprises and providing opportunity for learners to discover their passion, which leads them to further studies or finding employment in their preferred fields. TGC training creates super guides! The combination of the accredited and non-accredited course work combined with practical implementation and mentoring in a real workplace creates a breed of guides that have the theoretical knowledge, experience of working with customers and skills in ecological monitoring and environmental education facilitation. The non-accredited components compliment the Tourism Guiding qualification, deepening the learning experience. Multiskilled guides can fulfil many roles in both the environmental and tourism sector which supports resilient livelihood creation. TGC opens doors by developing both hard and soft skills. Practical Tourism Guiding skills can be applied throughout the hospitality and tourism sector and TGC graduates become registered site guides through the Provincial authority. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, professionalism and English proficiency boost confidence and enhance employability. TGC creates a professional network. Tourism graduates find it hard to enter the industry despite having a qualification. The unfortunate culture of having to have connections in order to get a foot in the door is a serious and unfair barrier. TGC connects the youth to each other, to their host employers, government departments and institutions and NGO’s. TGC alumni can leverage this network to connect with opportunities. TGC supports sustainable development and coastal conservation. The Wild Coast’s unique natural and cultural environment is under threat and needs to be protected. A systematic approach to sustainable development is essential. Institutions, People, Places, Environment and Livelihoods are all essential components which need to interact positively in order to bring about systemic change. The Green Coast Award creates a platform for connecting these dots.
BARRIERS STILL NEEDING ATTENTION
Computer literacy is an essential skill without which employment options can be limited. This is also a crucial skill required for studying further and for starting small businesses.
Not having a driver’s license is a significant barrier to finding full time employment.
Many participants are struggling to cope to with past and present traumas, family pressures and challenging circumstances. Mental and emotional health can have an impact on one’s development. The lack of psychosocial support can impede the success of interventions such as TGC. Entrepreneurship is key. Employment opportunities for youth are limited. It is therefore critical to support entrepreneurial youth to establish their business through practical business training and financial support. Mentoring is a crucial component of any youth development intervention and can always be improved. Mentees need to be paired appropriately to mentors. The quality of mentoring varies from host to host.
Lack of connectivity in certain rural areas is a major impediment for TGC graduates who are looking for work, enrolling in studies or establishing their businesses.
Endlessly and blindly training guides is not a sustainable option. There are a limited number of opportunities for trained guides on the Wild Coast and competition between guides can result in conflict.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE TGC MODEL
Some barriers to sustainable youth development are structural in nature and cannot be addressed by TGC alone. However, there are several improvements that can be implemented such as:
Integrate computer literacy module and facilitate access to laptops and internet.
Integrate driving lessons and tests. Negotiate with driving schools and funders to subsidise the costs.
Provide psychosocial support throughout duration of learnership.
Adapt training programme to focus more on entrepreneurship development.
Host/mentors need to be supported to build mentoring capacity through workshops. Mentors to be reimbursed for their time and other inputs. TGC alumni should be integrated into subsequent funding cycles as peer-to-peer mentors. Those who establish successful businesses may even host new Green Coast stewards eventually.
Partner with organisations that provide affordable reliable wireless internet to rural communities through Community Internet Networks.
Foster productive partnerships which support the successful exit and professional development pathway of project participants with sustainable livelihood development as a key aim.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
The model should be able to adapt to the changing needs on the ground. Hence a revised version of the model in the context of the Wild Coast, shifts the training focus towards entrepreneurship skills development via the CATHSSETA accredited New Venture Creation qualification. Tourism Guiding unit standards will still form part of the accredited component in the form of a short skills course as opposed to a full qualification. Also included in the revised version is more emphasis on computer literacy and a psychosocial support component which aims to overcome barriers to development. A significant number of TGC graduates have started or plan to start their own businesses. These emerging entrepreneurs need practical business training as well as material and incubation support in order to successfully launch and maintain their businesses. It would be highly beneficial for TGC to fulfil the role of a feeder programme into small business incubation programmes. TGC then not only supports the development of skills that benefit youth as they seek to study further or to find full time employment, but also filter out the
The Tourism Green Coast pilot successfully delivered on the medium-term impact goals and has proven to be a model with great potential to contribute strongly towards South Africa’s national development objectives with respect to youth, the environment and economic development. The model is scalable and can be rolled out in any context with a rural coastline, low impact nature-based tourism and coastal communities that participate in and benefit from grassroots sustainable development. However, the potential for impact as a stand- alone intervention remains limited. TGC needs to be recognised as cog in the wheel towards youth-led sustainable development. It would be beneficial in the long term for large scale training interventions such as TGC to be situated within a broader systematic partnership approach with shared destination specific development objectives that are informed continuously by the needs of the communities and existing community- based assets.
entrepreneurial youth that can be supported further to establish small businesses and become job creators as opposed to job seekers.
These new tourism-related small businesses require a regular influx of customers and hence sustainable destination development needs occur simultaneously. The Green Coast Award provides an excellent platform for promoting low impact eco-tourism, attracting responsible tourists to niche rural destinations and experiences. Visitors to Green Coast awarded beaches can expect an educational and quality beach experience. The Green Coast Award encourages the recognition and protection of natural and cultural assets and provides a marketing platform for Green Coast trained guides and affiliated community- based tourism businesses. Five of the 21 pilot beaches (Chintsa, Morgan Bay, Kei Mouth, Qolora and Bulungula) have converted to full Green Coast status with Green Coast flags proudly flying at their sites. The Green Coast Award programme is ongoing with annual reapplications required to maintain Green Coast status. This lends sustainability to the model with an ongoing programme which anchors continued investment into projects that continue the work that the Tourism Green Coast pilot has initiated. Further investment into Tourism Green Coast and the Green Coast Award Programme will build on the strength of what has been achieved to date delivering impact towards National development goals.
CONTACTS Kerry Mclean (Tourism Green Coast Project Manager) email@example.com
WESSA would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those individuals and institutions that have actively involved in the project cycle, from its development stage to project completion. First of all, sincere thanks the funders and supporters. To the Department of Tourism and the Expanded Public Works Programme for financing the project that made its implementation possible. And to the Ford Wildlife Foundation for sponsoring the project vehicle which carried staff, materials and equipment safely over challenging terrain. Secondly, a word of thanks to the team at the Department of Tourism as well to all members of the Project Advisory Committee for steering, supporting and providing oversight of the implementation of the project. Finally, sincere gratitude to all the host employers, consultants, trainers, local community groups and other parties as well as individuals, whose names cannot be each mentioned here, for their respective excellent cooperation and support in one form and another to project implementation.
Vince Shacks (WESSA Sustainable Tourism General Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org Taryn Van Neel (WESSA Coastal Programme Coordinator) email@example.com