Gauteng Tourism Launches a first of its Kind – Golf Caddies Tourism Training Programme in Soweto

Johannesburg, Tourism in Gauteng contributes just under 5% of the province’s GDP and accounts for over 300 000 of the sector jobs. Like many other key economic sectors, the past two years have been characterized by massive job losses, low revenues and loss of skilled workforce due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To speedily turn this situation around, the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) is forging ahead with the implementation of the Tourism Recovery Plan in support of the Growing Gauteng Together Vision 2030. On Monday 5th September 2022, at the Soweto Country Club, the GTA working together with its visitor economy recovery partners, the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), South African Caddies Association & Academy, South African Tourists Guide Association and Nedbank, will launch a first of its kind training programme for golf caddies as part of the sector reskilling and restoration of service excellence post-pandemic.

“As the GTA, we have identified caddies as an important extension for the marketing of destination Gauteng as they spend a lot of time with golfers who, in their nature, are travellers and go-getters. The Soweto Country Club (the only golf course located in a township in South Africa) and its associate partners in the Pimville/Kliptown hub were identified as the first cohort of caddies to be enrolled in this ground-breaking pilot training programme of providing them with basic tourism promotion and guiding skills.”

“We are very much grateful that our partnership with the country club and the TT Mbah Soweto Golf Caddies Day has enabled us to birth this developmental and entrepreneurial project, which is synonymous with the spirit and tenacity of destination Gauteng. With this project, we are expanding the skills set of our caddies and empowering them to be future tourist guides, operators of destination marketing and sports marketing companies. Most importantly, allowing them to horn their people’s relations and money-saving skills,” explained GTA CEO Sthembiso Dlamini.

Caddies play an important role in guiding golfers in the golfing space covering both amateurs and professionals. They are a source of guidance, information and decision-making.

“As the GTA, we are looking at enhancing that knowledge with basic Gauteng tourism promotion information and later formalizing it into a tourist’s guiding module and capacity. We believe this will enhance the destination’s visitor experience while providing additional livelihoods and benefits for locals.”

The day-long training programme for selected 50 caddies (from Soweto Country Club), the majority are young people and based in the township, will be facilitated by leading entrepreneurial minds across the tourism, business development, golfing and guides sectors. It is expected to be rolled out in other regions of the province as the country celebrates tourism and heritage month, respectively.

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