Phindile Makwakwa

Role at the 2024 DFM Event:



Ms Phindile Makwakwa was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal in December 2012. In this position, she was responsible for steering the destination marketing programs and operations, the PR and Communications, Tourism Development, and Information Services.

In August 2017, the TKZN Board made the decision to appoint her as the Acting Chief Executive Officer after the departure of the former CEO. In October 2023, Ms. Makwakwa returned to her role as Chief Operating Officer of Tourism KZN where she played a pivotal role in guiding the merger of Tourism KZN and KZN Film into KZN Tourism and Film Authority.

Before she joined Tourism KZN, she was the Head of Secretariat: KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Council, a position she took up following her successful project management of the Provincial COP 17 Programme for the KwaZulu-Natal Government in 2011. Prior to this she was, until December 2010, the Head of Provincial 2010 Coordination based in the Office of the Premier: KwaZulu-Natal.

Ms Makwakwa’s professional focus over the last sixteen years has spanned the range of journalism, marketing, corporate communications, public relations, and project management. Prior to being recruited to run the 2010 Programme for the KwaZulu-Natal Government, Ms Makwakwa was a General Manager: Communications & Public Relations at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, with a strong focus on marketing the province as a tourism destination locally and internationally; balancing the need to maintain KZN’s number one spot as South Africa’s most sought-after domestic tourism destination, while focusing on growing the Province’s international tourism market share. Stakeholder management was one of her key performance areas, and by the time she was recruited by the Office of the Premier, she had made great strides in ensuring closer relations between the Tourism Authority and its key stakeholders.

Before joining Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Ms. Makwakwa had already cut her teeth in tourism promotion matched with environmental management, as she had held the positions of Director: Media Liaison and Director: Communications in the Ministry and Department of Tourism & Environmental Affairs respectively. Having kicked off her career as a journalist with the Mercury newspaper in 1997, Ms. Makwakwa’s curious mind, boundless energy and professionalism had seen her being promoted to a Political Reporter within eight months of employment and by the end of 1999, was appointed Political Correspondent for the Independent Newspapers Group in the National Parliament, Cape Town, where she was the youngest and only female journalist in the Group’s Political Bureau.

In all her management positions, Ms Makwakwa has successfully implemented staff and organisational empowerment and still enjoys solid relationships with all her past employers, colleagues, and staff. Ms Makwakwa has extensive political, media and business networks. She has hands-on experience with the business, political and media sectors locally and internationally.


The KwaZulu-Natal Tourism and Film Authority

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