The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) will implement a small annual administration fee from 1 April 2013. The decision forms part of its new strategy to ensure an efficient implementation of its interventions. “At the core of this strategy is the aim of empowering small tourism businesses to become agents of their own growth and development.
At the same time, it will ensure that TEP is continuously appraising and improving its service offering to better meet the needs of small tourism businesses,” it said in a statement. Based on international best practice and results of a variety of research and surveys, TEP developed the new strategy to improve its response to the challenges facing small tourism firms. “The research enabled us to better categorise our client base and develop services according to client needs in a much more defined and focused way.
Through research, we have been able to establish that the majority of TEP clients are willing to contribute towards their own development,” said TEP CE, Dr Salifou Siddo. The policy change will include the introduction of a nominal commitment fee of R600 to become a registered TEP client and have access to services. TEP will also levy a nominal commitment fee for some of its market access and training interventions. “This is aimed at reducing the rampant practice of SMMEs signing up for workshops and then not showing up on the day,” continued the statement.
The commitment fee charged will be between 10% and 15% depending on the allocated client sophistication level. Discounts of 10% each are available for Black Owned, Rural, Youth Owned and Micro Enterprises – in other words, if a business complies with all four criteria it is offered a 40% discount on the annual administration fee as well as the commitment fee. Use of TEP’s services is dependent on the payment of the annual administration fee, upfront payment of the relevant service commitment fees and regular monthly reporting on jobs and turnover.
The benefits of paying the annual administration fee and becoming a TEP client includes access to a Business Development Fund, which can provide up to 50% payback on qualifying product quality and marketing activities, advice and guidance from TEP’s national Business Development Consultants, business assessment reports, provision of information through a planned tourism information portal, qualifying general market access opportunities and networking with similar-minded entrepreneurs. Clients also receive access to TEP training courses and mentorship as well as inclusion into the South African Hidden Treasures brand at the nominal commitment fee.
“In line with this new strategy, TEP has also re-engineered its structure nationally and provincially to ensure that operational requirements are met in an efficient and cost effective manner. We are confident that the new strategy and streamlined structures will enable TEP to contribute meaningfully to the achievement of the national job creation target of 225 000 jobs by 2020,” said Dr Siddo.
To assist clients through the TEP process, comprehensive guides have been published on the TEP website with regard to registering and working with TEP. These guides provide detailed information on TEP’s services and requirements and can be accessed by visiting http://www.tep.co.za/RegisterForServices.aspx.