The Trump Presidency and Implications for Tourism in South Africa
Professor Molefe Asante, one of the top Afrocentric academics always counsels that ‘’ the truth requires no defence, the truth is its own defence’’. We as people when we speak truth to power, we vocalising our feelings, aspirations, fears and the conditions that create freedom and unfreedoms in our lives. In December 2015, Samuel L Jackson during a comedy sketch on Jimmy Kimmel indicated that ‘’if that mother%$%# becomes president I will move my black ass to South Africa’’. The reference was towards Donald Trump. It is increasingly becoming evident that Donald Trump will snap the GOPs candidacy and the possibility of becoming President of the USA are imminent.
When he becomes President of the USA, he will possibly bring showbiz to the Presidency, and South African has its own version of Donald Trump. South Africa’s Parliament has never been the same after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by Julius Malema won 6% of the national vote after he was booted out of the African National Congress (ANC). The EFF brought now just showbiz to Parliament, they rewrote and broke all the rules in Parliament, today the Parliamentary show on the Pay Channel DSTV owned by Naspers (shareholder in TenCent) has increased viewership ever since the EFF landed in Parliament.
The most stressful job in South Africa is being the Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, where you must try to bring order to the un-sanitised antics of the EFF, a permanent irritant in Parliament. The first EFF attendance in Parliament was during the State of the Nation Address the males wore red overall, with hard hats, and gumboots, whilst the females wore domestic worker clothes. This was sought to galvanise support for the EFF, as representing the poor and the working class population, considering South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world and has an unemployment rate of more than 25%.
The popularity of the Parliamentary Show has meant that even South African comedians are suffering to attract crowds to their shows, because the Parliamentary show is now the official means of entertainment. It’s the same reason that one of the top South African comedians Trevor Noah, became an economic refugee in America just like the millions of Mexicans and ended taking up a job at The Daily Show, a job that Americans never wanted. It’s a reality that America is a nation of refugees, hence Barak Obama has always been considered an ‘’outsider’’ even though Hawaii is now an American state. South Africa has strong relationships with the USA, diplomatically and economically.
Pretoria follows Washington, as the second most important diplomatic city in the world. Mining’s contribution to the economy has decreased considerably, and the economy using tourism as a means to ensure that shared growth is achieved. It is in tourism where the Americans are imperative to the economy of South Africa. The USA is the most important outbound source market to South Africa, after the UK. Americans love South Africa, a country with a trademark charm, the most beautiful country in the world, and is the Cradle of Humankind. On 21 April 2015 Donald Trump said wrote on Twitter ‘’ As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total-and very dangerous-mess. Just watch the evening news (we not talking weather). Its true South Africa like many countries has certain parts and places where it is challenged by lack of personal safety and security, but it’s a fact that Johannesburg is much safer than London. Since September 11, the USA has become a very dangerous place to live and stay.
As South Africans, we will like to assure Samuel L Jackson that he will be welcomed to South Africa by a red carpet treatment. For Americans that are still not sold, let them visit South Africa and experience the sounds, and life changing landscapes and people that are always smiling, defining our essence of Ubuntu. The American elections have been very brutal and have really polarised American society, this may be the opportune time for a break from politics by uniting the American spirit by offering them vacation marketing outlays to sunny South Africa. South Africa remains one of the top value for money destinations for Americans, which remains a visa-free destination. Tourism which is the engine for growth in the South African economy has grown 12% when compared to last year, remains the light in these tough economic conditions that face South Africa. As a country, we must do more to support job-creating economic sectors such as tourism by removing the red tape and rolling out the red carpet.
Mr. Unathi Sonwabile Henama is a tourism researcher and writes in his personal capacity.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Kaya FM.