Boost for tourism and job creation with launch of Cappello on the KZN South Coast

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In the approach to Tourism Month, South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) celebrated the grand opening of the new Cappello restaurant on the KZN South Coast. The opening formed part of the ‘South Coast Culinary Experience and Cappello’s Port Shepstone Grand Media Fam Trip’ with media invited to experience the KZN South Coast on 26 and 27 August.

“Tourism remains a major economic driver on the KZN South Coast, and the opening of new establishments such as Cappello after the devastation of the past few years, is great news for the industry and our local residents,” explained

Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “This continues to position the region as a top tourism and investment destination. It brings direct and indirect contributions to the economy for the benefit of our local communities.  By organising the media fam trip in partnership with TKZN, we were also able to showcase the region’s many tourism offerings, particularly as we head into Tourism and Heritage Month.”

Senior Manager of PR and Communications at TKZN, Pinky Radebe, added: “We, at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, are always looking to support new routes and initiatives that position KZN as a must-visit destination. Furthermore, we continue to support activations that promote intra-travel within the province with a strong focus on enhancing the marketing of emerging businesses such as these. The value such businesses provide to the local tourism economy and its far-reaching impact on local communities through job creation is vital. We believe that such partnerships are a valuable contribution to reigniting tourism within the province.”

Cappello Acting General Manager, Mpilo Shusha, is a born-and-bred local whose passion for food and the restaurant industry started when he was a schoolchild in Gamalakhe: “I didn’t have much growing up and couldn’t afford to go to varsity, but I always loved the food industry and knew I wanted to work there.”

Shusha said he had plans for opening up a restaurant, which a local fast-food restaurant owner helped him fine-tune: “For the past seven months I wasn’t working, so when I saw the position for Cappello I immediately applied! This was our grand opening – a weekend of glitz and glamour – but we’ve already been operational since June. It’s been going really well, it’s hard work but well worth it.”

Cappello is a renowned South African franchise that attracts the sophisticated, urbanite market for dining and dancing with live DJs performing great sets. The latest location at South Coast Mall in Shelly Beach offers patrons quality cuisine in a vibrant setting. The owners are prioritising local employment, predominantly unemployed young women requiring skills training and employment in the hospitality industry.

The restaurant has already employed six managers, 12 kitchen staff, four barmen and women, 21 waiters, 3 security staff, 2 drivers, and 8 part-time weekend workers. According to Shusha, Cappello has helped bring home and employment to more than 50 local families, many of whom were devastated by the Covid-19-related economic slump.

The team at Cappello is also engaging with suppliers on the KZN South Coast for a steady supply of products, including meat and vegetables, baked goods, gas, and other restaurant needs. The DJs who perform at Cappello are also 90% local artists, providing them with a valuable platform to showcase their talent. With customers keen to stay for the music, Cappello encourages overnight stays, providing further business support for local Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, and transport. 

This is in line with SCTIE’s Buy Local campaign which develops platforms and business connections for SMMEs while encouraging support for local businesses. The initiative continues to welcome new members taking advantage of business support and marketing, with free membership until June 2025.

In addition to the Cappellos grand opening, local media were given the opportunity to experience several great KZN South Coast tourism offerings throughout the weekend. This included dining and fun at The Pont, Paddlers Restaurant and Bar, The Waffle House, and The Packshed Restaurant, with an overnight stay at Umthunzi Hotel.

Uncover all the adventure on the KZN South Coast by downloading the ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app, visiting the website, checking out the Events Calendar, the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide and more! Don’t miss out on the action by following South Coast Tourism on Facebook; South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; and South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise on LinkedIn. And click here to check out previous SCTIE press releases. Follow the hashtags #uncover #uncoverkznsouthcoast #uncoveradventure #kznsouthcoast

To support the Buy Local campaign, find out more about members, or become a member, visit Buy Local on the website or click here for a membership form.

Don’t miss out on Sho’t Left Travel Week’s annual tourism sale South Africans get up to 50% off of travel experiences, accommodation, and historical and cultural tours when they book from 4 to 10 September 2023. To find out more, visit