Executive profiles

Executive profiles

Chief Executive Officer: Thulani Nzima

Thulani Nzima’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism became effective at the beginning of January 2012.

With a wealth of experience in the field of travel and tourism, Mr Thulani Nzima took up his current position as Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism in January 2012. Mr Nzima is responsible for all operations of the national destination marketing organisation’s head office and its country offices.

His illustrious career began in the banking industry in 1987. In 1991, he joined South African Airways (SAA) and spent 14 years honing his skills in all aspects of the local and international travel and tourism sector. Nzima worked his way up through the national airline, holding numerous key positions along the way. He worked in the African, Asian, Australian and Benelux markets, as well as locally, culminating in his position as Senior Executive Manager and the driving force behind the strategic realignment of SAA’s Voyager programme.

After a stellar career at SAA, Nzima joined the South African Travel Centre (SATC) in 2005 as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, where he excelled at re-energising the business model, creating new revenue streams.

Chief Marketing Officer: Janine Hutton

Janine Hutton is currently employed by South African Tourism as Chief Marketing Officer.

Jan Hutton works for South African Tourism as its Chief Marketing Officer. As such, Jan's primary responsibility is to deliver on the Tourism Growth Strategy that is aimed at ensuring that South Africa is the preferred destination for leisure and business travel. This entails driving and managing marketing for South African Tourism, overseeing the organisation’s global campaigns to competitively raise awareness of South Africa as a world-class destination.

Jan is very passionate about consumer-centric, integrated performance marketing. She has worked for some of the best media and marketing multinational companies in South Africa, and has started numerous businesses herself. Jan was previously a Director and Board member at The Nielsen Company, servicing clients through Africa. Whilst there, Jan was the only South African selected to attend a Global Leadership Programme in San Francisco.

Prior to serving at The Nielsen Company, Jan was Managing Director at Ogilvy Interactive, South Africa. Ogilvy Interactive is one of the largest marketing and communications networks in the world, stretching to 50 countries and employing a workforce of over 4 000 digital media experts.

Amongst other ventures, Jan has also been Managing Director at Immedia (a marketing strategy company) and Strattice Wireless Intelligence (technology product development company); and General Manager at Barrows Design and Manufacture, an international retail strategist company with offices on four continents.

Jan is the quintessential unconventional marketer who has extensive experience working in traditional and new media for over 10 years, with an enviable list of blue-chip brands. She grew up in Cape Town and left at the age of 25 to live in Mount Edgecombe in Durban, commuting to Johannesburg. She eventually relocated to Johannesburg full time seven years ago. 

Chief Financial Officer: Thomas Bouwer

Thomas (Tom) Bouwer is the Chief Financial Officer of South African Tourism.

Tom joined South African Tourism in 2013 after 38 years of experience in public financial management, across a number of national government departments.

His key focus includes delivering effective and efficient financial management in the key markets that South African Tourism operates in.

An expert in governance issues such as policy formulation, Tom came to South African Tourism from the South African National Biodiversity Institute, where he was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Prior to this, he worked at the Department of Water Affairs, and was an Associate Director with Saha International.

Between 2000 and 2006, he was CFO at the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (now known as National Department of Tourism), and before that he was Director of Financial Services at the National Department of Housing.

During his tenure as CFO at the National Department of Tourism, Tom received the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA) Award for Best National Department – Financial Statements, as well as the SAIGA Award for the Most Consistent Financial Statements of the past five years.

Tom has a Master Business Leadership degree from Unisa and a Bachelor of Military Science (Commerce) from the University of Stellenbosch.

Chief Operating Officer: Timothy Scholtz

Timothy Scholtz is the Chief Operating Officer for South African Tourism.

In November 2010, Timothy Scholtz was appointed as South African Tourism's Chief Operating Officer (COO). His impressive career spans the non-profit, retail and financial management sectors of the South African economy. He also has extensive experience in corporate services and execution.

In his spare time, he is the chairperson of two non-profit organisations, one dealing with young entrepreneurs and the other dealing with a job-creation initiative with rural paper-making entities. His experience in international compliance and his passion for non-profit organisations began in 2003, when he was Chief Financial Officer and COO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He holds an Institute of Accounting Commerce membership as an Accounting Officer.

Scholtz entered the retail sector in 1984 after completing his BCom degree at the University of South Africa. He started his career with Saftainer, the container division of Safmarine. Starting as a branch clerk, he rose to the position of Financial Manager in just 10 years and, ultimately, business auditor in 1995.

His career then naturally progressed into financial management and internal auditing. In 1999, he relocated to Johannesburg as part of the risk consulting team at Arthur Andersen and Co.

Scholtz joined the National Business Initiative (NBI) as the Financial Manager for the Business Trust (April 2000). Just over a year later, he was promoted to the Director of Financial and Administration, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. He successfully managed a R1-billion programme, an initiative between business and government, to build a sustainable socio-economic post-apartheid South Africa. Whilst at the NBI, he continued part-time studies and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Management at the University of Johannesburg.

In November 2003, Mr Scholtz joined the Nelson Mandela Foundation as Chief Operating Officer, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. He spent a fulfilling four years in this post, before deciding to join FranklinCovey SA, a leadership training and consulting business. This is where his corporate services and execution capabilities were fine-tuned, mastering the art of getting things done within 17 countries in southern and East Africa.

Chief Quality Assurance Officer of the TGCSA: Thembi Kunene

Thembi Kunene is the Chief Quality Assurance Officer of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA).

Thembi Kunene, obtained her BA Communications degree from Fort Hare University in 1988. Her postgraduate studies include a Management Development Program (University of Pretoria).

Her Executive and Business experience since 1988 include, Banking, Advertising, Public Relations, Airport Management as well as Freight and Logistics. In 1997, Thembi became the first woman, the first Black person and the youngest person ever to manage an airport in post-apartheid South Africa.

In August 2007, Thembi joined the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) as its new CEO with her main responsibility being to ensure quality graded tourism accommodation in South Africa.

During 2009, the TGCSA was fully integrated into South African Tourism, resulting in Thembi being appointed on the SAT Exco, the highest decision-making body over 17 Business Units reporting to the SAT, CEO – which meant a title change to Chief Quality Assurance Officer, a position she currently still holds.

Thembi was appointed by the Minister of Tourism, Minister van Schalkwyk, as the Interim Chairman of the Lilizela Tourism Awards, an inaugural tourism awards programme in South Africa that recognizes and celebrates service excellence in the tourism industry.

Thembi has served in a non-Executive capacity on the following:

  • MATCH Advisory Board -body that advised FIFA on the delivery of a successful 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (2 years: 2008- 2010).
  • Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (10years: 2001-10)
  • Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) (6years: 2002-08)
  • Tourvest (8years: 2005-13). Thembi remains a shareholder within Tourvest.
  • Siyazi Investment Holdings, (2005 to date), a family owned interest.