Durban — The uMngeni Local Municipality said it intends to boost the local economy through tourism.
Philisiwe Memela, a manager in the office of the mayor, said the municipality wants to use tourism to swell the municipality’s coffers.
“The municipality is expecting between 3 000 and 5 000 tourists that include local and international tourists,” she said.
The municipality’s tourism department hosted the media on a site tour to the Midlands and Howick areas on Monday to showcase tourism under the uMngeni Municipality.
The media visited different tourist sites in the Pietermaritzburg area in full force to usher in the festive season. The sites include Brahaman Hills Hotel, Mount Shekinah Country Hotel and Epic Karting. Mzingisi Hloba, the uMngeni municipal manager, said the site tour was intended to drive more tourists to the municipality.
He said uMngeni Municipality has everything that tourists need which is safety, cleanliness and a functioning tourism system.
“We are saying to the public that the festive season has arrived. Midlands is warm from the people to the hospitality. The purpose of the event is to show the media that there are such places in the uMngeni Municipality.
“The best we have to offer was showcased today (Monday). The fun fact is that three of the places that you went to are under my ward.
“This is a relaxed scenic route for people to travel. We wanted to show that we have more to showcase on this route,” said Hloba.
Sandile Mnikathi, deputy mayor, said uMngeni Municipality has a tranquil environment that would give visitors a break from the noise in the eThekwini Municipality.
“The two main economic drivers in uMngeni are agriculture and tourism. We understand and appreciate that there is a need to boost tourism in the black community, therefore we have programmes that assist people to get into the sector,” he said.
One of the sites visited, Mount Shakinah Hotel, is black-owned.
Thando Mgaga, the uMngeni communications manager, said security measures include fencing tourism sites such as the Howick Falls.
He said that they have undertaken business compliance during the year and uprooted businesses that sell expired food.
He said they also worked closely with the SAPS and provided extra resources needed by the department such as donating two-way radios.
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