Minister Derek Hanekom launches Komjekejeke Tourism Facility

"Our department is pleased to be part of a greater plan of ensuring that the traditions and heritage of the Ndebele people are preserved and celebrated for generations to come," said Minister Derek Hanekom speaking at the official launch of tourism facilities at the Komjekejeke Heritage site on Saturday.

Members of the local community, tourism stakeholders and officials from the Tshwane Municipality attended the event to celebrate the official handover of a variety of facilities, including a multi-purpose hall and a renovated amphitheatre to the Silamba Trust.

"We have built this beautiful place to enhance the existing structures that cradle the valuable historical and cultural artefacts of the Ndebele people. The community should utilise these facilities, and help drive tourism to Komjekejeke," said Hanekom.

The department promotes the growth of tourism products through infrastructure development in rural nodes under its Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) programme, to ensure economic empowerment, sector transformation, and the transfer of skills development to local communities.

The Komjekejeke initiative is one of more than 300 tourism infrastructure projects built in rural areas country-wide by the department in an effort to bring tourism closer to the people.

"Tourism is a people-based economic activity, and can only prosper if it involves communities."

"More than 200 members of the community from KwaNdebele and Hamaskraal were employed to build these facilities. We are hopeful that more employment opportunities will be created as the facilities are utilised, and the Ndebele people will share in the benefits of tourism," added Hanekom.

The facilities built at Komjekejeke include new ablution blocks; three new traditional dwellings; 20 picnic sites; the renovation of existing buildings including the VIP lapa; existing staff houses; and the painting of buildings.

"The department's contribution came at a time when we were looking to create a place that would best showcase our unique culture, and we are grateful for these facilities."

"Komjekejeke is our pride, and the community is the heartbeat that will ensure that this place becomes a successful and sustainable tourist destination."

"Through the Silamba Trust, we will ensure that the facilities are fully utilised to create economic benefits for our people, said Ingwenyama Makhosonke II of the Ndebele people.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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