R24,7 million tourism hub to attract visitors to City

2011-08-31 00:00

THE construction of a tourism hub in Pietermaritzburg has begun at Freedom Square.

The hub will be a “one-stop-shop” for tourists and will cost R24,7 million on completion in August next year.

The manager for investment promotion in the Msunduzi Municipality, David Gengan, said that during the council’s economic development portfolio meeting, held at the city hall yesterday, it was decided that the hub “will be the catalyst to attract tourists to the city centre and Freedom Square”.

“It will provide a home for tourism-related businesses, and new entertainment and restaurant facilities will be available for tourists and the public at large.”

Gengan said the hub will offer other businesses a centrally located space and will create new tourism employment opportunities.

He told the committee that R18 million has already been paid by the Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs Department and will fork out an additional R3,8 million for the construction; the rest will be paid by the municipality.

The economic development acting deputy municipal manager, Skhumbuzo Mpanza,told the portfolio committee he does not understand why the tourism component within the municipality was moved away from the economic development business unit to be under the marketing and communications department.

“We all know that tourism should be part of the economic development business unit because it does play a huge role in the economy of the city and therefore should be part of the unit,” said Mpanza.

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