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Rural Tourism Development: Exit Opportunities for Expanded Public Works Participants

Niki Glen 1, Kathryn Fourie 2, and Nthabiseng Moche 2
1. Rhodes University, Environmental Learning Research Centre, Grahamstown, South Africa
2. Next Step Consulting, Hilton and Green Skills Academy, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract—The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), an initiative of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), provides employment opportunities to the poorest of the poor across South Africa. The EPWP has to date created in excess of 4.2 million jobs for the most vulnerable community members, thus supporting livelihoods while at the same time developing critical skills. However, the DEA has recognized that one of the key objectives of the programme, i.e. that of participants finding permanent employment after exiting the programme, has not been realized adequately. This paper aims to discuss the challenges faced by the DEA in the context of poverty issues in South Africa. The tourism industry is viewed as a potential exit path for EPWP participants into the Green Economy or other occupational and entrepreneurial pathways. The paper highlights the urgency of job creation or career advancement for the poor and unemployed people across South Africa, contextualizes a study undertaken by DEA in 2018 on the effectiveness of the EPWP in supporting career advancement and builds insights on how skills can be applied in tourism economies as a sector with a demand for green skills. This study is exploratory in nature and makes recommendations towards a further study to develop an understanding of tourism development potential and an analysis of potential tourism skills demand and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Index Terms—sustainable tourism, green economy, poverty alleviation, rural tourism, development

Cite: Niki Glen, Kathryn Fourie, and Nthabiseng Moche, "Rural Tourism Development: Exit Opportunities for Expanded Public Works Participants," Journal of Advanced Management Science, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 84-93 September 2019. doi: 10.18178/joams.7.3.84-93
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