Perfect springtime weather welcomed MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to the KZN South Coast on Saturday, 12 September as she visited local tourism sites, KwaXolo Caves and Beaver Creek Coffee Estate, as well as Margate Airport, as part of the Tourism and Heritage Month activations.
The visit accompanies the injection of R10 million by the department into revamping and modernising Margate Airport as a way to create much-needed jobs for the local communities. Through this initiative, the KZN South Coast will benefit from a direct influx of tourists who can access more of the region, with the airport made more attractive for future investments.
Dube-Ncube explained that the department was working with municipalities, across the province,
to ensure local communities are brought into the mainstream tourism.
“The success of tourism will be judged by how much it is contributing towards our efforts aimed at substantially reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment in our country,” she explained. “To achieve this inclusive growth, we are ensuring that all spheres of government work towards increasing the number of tourism programmes and projects that are led by, and benefit, communities. This will lay the foundation for real transformation to take root on the ground.”
She explained that the rollout of the Local Government Tourism Capacity Building Programme for Tourism Practitioners and Communities, aims to ensure KZN is a top tourist destination: “To achieve this vision, we have focused on enhancing our destination by improving infrastructure at various tourism magnets across local municipalities.”
KZN South Coast rural and agri-tourism projects
During her visit to the KZN South Coast, the MEC was taken on a tour of Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward, the world’s southernmost coffee plantation, which supplies home-grown coffee to companies and coffee lovers across the country. The MEC got insight into the coffee making process at this renowned agri-tourism initiative, which also offers barista courses, tours and tastings as well as wholesome food at the on-site café.
She was also shown the unique KwaXolo Caves which, through the KwaXolo Caves Adventures, gives tourists a guided exploration of this historic site which is home to ancient San rock paintings. The caves were discovered by the KwaXolo traditional authority community and fall under the authority of Inkosi Xolo. The recent installation of a via ferrata system has opened this site to tourists who are led along the mountainside using steel cables and rungs affixed to rocks.
“We were honoured to have the MEC take the time to visit the KZN South Coast, affording us the opportunity to share our diverse and rich cultural, rural and agri-tourism initiatives, that are economically empowering rural communities,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu. “We are also grateful for the financial investment in Margate Airport. Accessibility to the KZN South Coast is key for both our domestic and international tourists, and this will go a long way in opening up our prime holiday destination.”
#GoMakeMemories this #TourismMonth2020 by visiting the KZN South Coast. To find out more about these and other #CulturalTourism sites, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. Alternatively, follow ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook and YouTube, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter and Instagram.