Recognising those who strive for excellence in PMB tourism

2013-10-01 00:00

THE Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), the mountain biking fraternity and a former Pietermaritzburg Publicity Association director were among a host of people presented with Mayoral Tourism Awards.

The gala event at the city hall on Friday evening followed a carnival through the city that was held during the day. Both events were part of the year-long celebration of Pietermaritzburg’s 175th anniversary.

Msunduzi-Pietermaritzburg Tourism director Dumisani Mhlongo said when they first put word out about the event, they were inundated with nominations; so much so, that in some categories there was more than one winner.

Dick Jones, the city’s former publicity director, received a lifetime achievement award. Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) and the UCI World Cycling organisers received awards for putting the city on the international map.

Mayor Chris Ndlela said in his opening remarks he was getting ready to fire the gun at the start of next year’s Comrades.

Ndlela praised the ultimate human race and its significance to the city.

CMA vice-chairperson Macdonald Chitja, who accepted the award, said, “This is a wonderful night for the CMA. The Mayoral Tourism Awards Gala is just what the city of Pietermaritzburg needed and we are honoured to be acknowledged on home ground”. Chitja added that Comrades shared a 92-year history with the city.

Mhlongo said the awards were hosted by the Msunduzi-Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association (MPTA) and were aimed at recognising the efforts of residents and organisations that strive to make the city a better place. He said the judging panel was made up of professionals from the tourism industry and a representative from the mayor’s office.

“Our original plan was to hold the awards as a once-off, to mark the city’s 175th birthday, but from the reaction at the event and the feedback we have been getting, everyone wants this to become an annual event to challenge those involved in promoting tourism in the city to strive for excellence,” Mhlon­go said.


All the winners

Travel & Tour operators - Dankiza Tours

Conference Facilities - Royal Agricultural Society

Upmarket Restaurant - Capellos and Traffords Restaurant

Media Support - Maritzburg Fever

Travel Agency - African Link

Township entertainment spot - 033Lifestyle

Community Tourism Project - The DCO Matiwane historical project in Willowfountain.

Tourism guiding - Ntlaka Mdunge

Hotels - Redlands

B&B - Ascot Inn

Entity that supports tourism - Safe City

Local events - Maritzburg Marathon Association

International events - CMA and UCI Mountain Bike event organisers

Special recognition was given to: Maritzburg United Football Club; Maritzburg Choral Society; the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee; The Alan Paton Centre, Taunton House and Nashua PMB (which promotes Art in the Park)

Lifetime achievements: Dasarath Bundhoo (posthumous, who pushed for the recognition of Mahatma Gandhi’s historic links to PMB)

Hitler Mbambo — community leader, who promotes the history of the city and is considered an expert on the history of Edendale

Chris Lake — for teaching tourism skills

Dick Jones — the former Pietermaritzburg Publicity director

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