United tourism body for Msunduzi

2011-07-01 00:00

THE first step towards creating a tourism hub in Pietermaritzburg was taken yesterday with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Msunduzi Municipality, Pietermaritzburg Tourism and the Umsunduzi Tourism Association.

This is a landmark decision because in the past Pietermaritzburg Tourism was seen as a body which represented the historically advantaged group, where as Umsunduzi Tourism represented the interests of the previously disadvantaged people.

Both tourism structures have been in talks to create a body that will look into deracialising the tourism industry in the city.

The MOU was signed by the Msunduzi Municipality’s acting manager, Thokozani Maseko, Pietermaritzburg Tourism chairperson Bunny Bhoola and Umsunduzi Tourism Association president Dumisani Mhlongo.

The city’s administrator, Sibisiso Sithole, said this is the first phase of the ongoing effort aimed at creating one tourism body which will act in the interest of the entire city and which could play a pivotal role in ensuring that there is transformation in the tourism sector in Pietermaritzburg.

“This will enable the municipality to channel funding to one tourism structure, unlike before when the municipality had a serious challenge seemingly supporting one structure at the expense of the other,” he said.

Sithole said tourism thrives even during a recession and it is one sector that is always growing.

He added the new understanding had the potential to both create and unlock job opportunities in various sectors.

Bhoola said, “Finally a moment has arrived that we have been fighting for so many years, [namely] to create one tourism structure that will benefit the entire community of Pietermaritzburg.”

Bhoola said the job opportunities are huge and promised the city that it will see a very committed group of people who are here make Msunduzi thrive on tourism.

Mhlongo said, “We are fortunate in Msunduzi because we have a lot of historical sites that have potential to attract foreign investment that will help uplift the standard of living for the people to the city.”

He said they will use the Soweto Heritage as the benchmark to ensure the success of this merger.

“We have always complemented each other as Umsunduzi Tourism Association and Pietermaritzburg Tourism so the move to merge these organisations will only bear fruits for the entire city,” Mhlongo said.

He said the fact that the city has sites connected with icons like Gandhi and Mandela and other historical sites should be an added advantage to making tourism a major contributor in revenue.

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma said the official launch of the tourism body should be made by the end of July, with Mayor Chris Ndlela officiating.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.