by Boitumelo Babuseng MPL – DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances
Date: 25 August 2017
Type: Press Statement
It is tragic that, just two years after Kimberley was referred to as “just a big hole” in a nationally-placed opinion piece, the last remaining hint of the diamond city’s sparkle has been washed away by poor management of the provincial tourism sector.
It is disheartening to read in the papers that tourists undertaking historical tram rides in the city are exposed to taxi operators relieving themselves in public and that the tram route closely resembles a trail through a dump site.
Tourist attractions are intended to attract and encourage tourism but in the Northern Cape, especially Kimberley, tourist attractions discourage visitors from ever coming back to the city. This is detrimental to economic growth and job creation in our poverty stricken province.
This makes the DA question the value of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, as well as the Northern Cape Tourism Authority, which are both supposed to be dedicated towards growing the tourism industry in the province.
This also serves to once again highlight the fact that these departments’ continued focus on mega events instead of sustainable long term tourism initiatives, is failing the people of the Northern Cape.
A successful tourism industry requires buy-in from all spheres of government, particularly local government. Hence it is essential that tourism plans are incorporated into the Integrated Development Plans (IDP’s) of municipalities and that they are implemented.
It’s high time that tourism-related departments realize this and stop funneling all their resources into a handful of mega projects and instead start channeling their resources into developing a tourism friendly environment at a local level.
The tourism industry continues to play an important role in the South African economy.
Given the growing unemployment in the Northern Cape, government urgently needs to harness the tourism potential that lies on our doorstep or face even higher unemployment and poverty rates.
Boitumelo Babuseng MPL
DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances
079 874 6179
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387