Leadership at South African Tourism cemented with the appointment of new board chairperson and CEO

Nombulelo Guliwe has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of SAT. Picture: Supplied

Nombulelo Guliwe has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of SAT. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 1, 2024


South African Tourism announced that Nombulelo Guliwe CA(SA) has been appointed as the leader of the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination.

In a statement released by the agency, it said that Guliwe was appointed by the Board of SAT and has agreed to serve a 5-year contract.

Guliwe, 37, is no stranger to the industry as she became the first black female and youngest SA Tourism Chief Financial Officer in 2019 and is currently the Acting CEO and Interim Chief Financial Officer.

SAT said that Guliwe brings a wealth of knowledge having served in various leadership roles throughout her career including Chief Financial Officer at SA Tourism since August 2019.

The position of CEO at the agency has been hotly contested after the board led by Tim Harris, stripped chief operations officer, Nomasonto Ndlovu, the position of acting CEO in September 2023 after allegations of improper conduct were levelled against her.

After Ndlovu was stripped of the position, the board announced that she would return to her position of chief operations officer for the entity and appointed Guliwe as the interim acting CEO.

The board has also undergone some changes as Makhosazana Khanyile has been appointed board chairperson, taking over from Tim Harris.

The tourism industry has welcomed the Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille’s appointment of the board and of Guliwe.

Commenting on the the changes at the helm of SAT, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) are enthused and optimistic about the appointments.

“We look forward to working closely with South African Tourism to leverage its role of promoting tourism here at home, regionally, and to the international source markets. We will support the SAT Board and CEO as they go about this very important job,” TBCSA Board Chairperson, Jerry Mabena.

According to SATSA, the Voice of Inbound Tourism, the new leadership phase marks a pivotal moment for inbound tourism to South Africa.

SATSA CEO David Frost, commended the Tourism Minister and the former Interim SA Tourism Board chaired by Tim Harris on the appointment process, which has been collaborative and thorough.

“We also look forward to working closely with Chairperson Makhosazana Khanyile, new CEO Nombulelo Guliwe and the rest of the skilled board to showcase the immense opportunities for tourism within South Africa.

“Our mutual goal is to substantially increase visitor numbers, spend and length of stay with a view to realising the tourism sector’s overall contribution to the country’s economic growth and job creation.

“With strong leadership and an aligned strategy between private and public sector, we believe this can be achieved,” said Frost.