Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe encourages local chefs to specialise in South African Traditional Cuisine

Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe encourages local chefs to specialise in South African Traditional Cuisine

Local chefs must specialise in traditional cuisines to give tourists who are visiting the country a unique South African experience, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe said at the Ndikhoya Dinaledi Services (NDS) Chefs Academy 2nd Graduation ceremony held at the Maccauvlei campus in Vereeniging on Friday.

Over and above the beauty of our country, its loving as well as hospitable people, animals, flora including the rich cultural heritage that we are endowed with, our niche lies in our ability to promote that which is uniquely South African within the versatile tourism sector, highlighted the Deputy Minister pointing to the increase in the number of tourists visiting the country.

Thabethe said that South African chefs are in demand the world over because of the high standard of professional training offered by local institutions.

The National Youth Chefs Training Programme(NYCTP) that we are rolling out in partnership with the South African Chefs Association (SACA) and the hospitality industry offers our young people and in particular unemployed graduates a second chance and international exposure, she stressed.

Thabethe pointed out that the National Department of Tourism has budgeted over R103 million for implementation of the programme during the 2017-2020 Medium Term Budget Expenditure Framework (MTBEF).

She emphasised that there is no room for drop outs and those that lack passion and determination because the R70 000 that government is spending on each of the 577 aspirant chefs currently enrolled for the programme must be optimally used.

Young girls must therefore close their legs and young boys keep their zips up. None of the participants in the NYCTP can afford to be part of the Idibala/faint” dance craze over weekends and fall on the wayside because of pregnancies and drug addiction she stressed.

NDS Chefs Academy Principal Lebo Lekotoko in her congratulatory message reminded the graduates that their lecturers have equipped them with theoretical and practical knowledge while their mentors have given them with a piece of their wealth which is their skills.

Your parents have supported and believed in you. Now is the time, to spread out your wings and soar like an eagle. It is time to change the norms in the food industry, it is time to practice what the chef kept on saying, ‘When it comes to food preparation, you can break the rules’ It is time to be that extraordinary person in the industry of Hospitability and create those extraordinary dishes or experiences for extraordinary people. The world has become an oyster and requires brave young people with great passion to serve and the tenacity to work hard.

Six-eight-year-old Annesheila Makhado who had accompanied six graduates from the NDS Limpopo satellite campus said that the NYCTP addresses the concerns of mothers who had been concerned about grants dependency among young girls.

I was touched by Deputy Minister Thabethe’s frank and values based address which has hit the bullseye, said the retired professional.

Susan Moropoli whose son was among recipients of top achievers awards applauded government for the training intervention.

It has opened doors for our children to grow and develop, she said.

Mother of two Pontsho Mogoiwa said that she resigned from Capitec Bank to follow her passion and study professional cookery.

I love food and the expression on people’s faces when they eat well prepared tasty dishes, said the graduate who is on work placement at the Three Rivers Lodge.

Source: Government of South Africa