Cape Town – An interest from friends who wanted to visit and experience Khayelitsha sparked an idea which turned into a business, DiscoverIkasi, which helps tourists and locals find accommodation and tours.
That's according to Ntsebenziswano November, Discover Ikasi's co-founder, who said that when he and friends started searching for places to visit in Khayelitsha, they couldn’t find any listings online.
Their Facebook search led them to Google listings, but the information they found was either outdated or the pictures were not of good quality.
The business that November and friends started helps both tourists and locals who want to visit townships around the country do bookings for accommodation and organised tours.
"We are not selling entities, but experiences. You can find anything from a five-star B&B to a coffee shop.You no longer have to travel to town to get a coffee shop," said November.
Doing township tours is not only about enjoyable excursions, but also about learning about the area's history.
He said having businesses listed on the Discover Ikasi website not only contributes to people visiting the businesses, but also helps create employment.
The company is made up of three people: November, co-founder Nobesuthu May, and one additional employee.
"We don't want to call ourselves a township; we are a community and we are trying to sell our communities. This month we are starting weekly tours around Khayelitsha and these tours will generate income for the businesses which are listed on the Discover Ikasi website. We plan to extend these to other areas, including the CBD as well as canoeing in Khayelitsha," he said.
WATCH November explain the journey
"Our main challenge is that most businesses that we list are owned by the elderly who are not familiar with social networks like Facebook and Instagram," November said.
Another challenge is a lack of buy-in from the local business, but November said when they explained the format of the website, people were happy to list on it.
November said they have not yet taken on investors as they do not want external influences which may change the direction of their business.
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