VTSD communities encouraged to use platforms created by provincial government to grow their economy
Communities in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District have been encouraged to take advantage of business investment, funding and business support platforms created by the provincial government to establish their own sustainable tourism businesses and subsequently influence growth in their economy.
The Fifth administration of the North West Province has taken the bull by its horn in a continuous quest to change the status quo of economically depressed people through the Villages, Township and Small Dorpies (VTSD) phenomenon whereby over seventy percent of government spending will be channeled into Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies.
At the center of this phenomenon is an economic pillar Agriculture, Culture and Tourism (ACT) which plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the province uses these sectors to grow the economy and afford its people business and investment opportunities to economically emancipate themselves while also attracting and sourcing external investment.
Recently the provincial government dispatched all ten departments to embark on an intensive community interaction programme dubbed Premier’s VTSD Economies and Entrepreneurship Outreach programme in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District. This is where departments were able to engage with communities and offer them their services, information and advice with specific reference to their department’s constitutional mandate.
North West MEC for Tourism Desbo Mohono said that there was a dire need for people in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District to start thinking out of the box and be creative by maximizing the tourism development potential in their district. She said that tourism is that new gold and it is one of the vehicles identified by the provincial government to advance socio-economic transformation in VTSD economies.
“People in this district which comprises of five local municipalities need to take advantage of business funding models and support such as market access and product development created by the provincial government through our sister departments such as Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development (FEED), North West Development Corporation (NWDC) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to establish their own sustainable tourism businesses. This district stretches along the N12 treasure route, it is the heritage destination of our province through the Taung Skull Word Heritage Site, Thomeng Small Heaven Limestone Waterfall and Dinkgwaneng.
“There is also Diggers’ Diamond Museum and water sports along the Vaal River. Bloemhof Dam also has great tourism investment potential as it attracts people for annual fishery extravaganzas and water sports competitions. The district is also popular during the hunting season whereby hunting fanatics from all over the country converge along the western areas of the province for hunting. Communities in those areas need to develop and establish tourism businesses which will leverage from these activities”, Mohono said.
Furthermore, Mohono said that as part of ensuring that existing tourism products in VTSD economies are developed and meet the necessary standards, her department has recently entered into an agreement with Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) to grade these establishments at a cost to the department.
“We will be grading 100 tourism establishments within the VTSD areas for free. This is in line with our efforts to increase the number of graded Tourism establishments in the province and also to encourage more accommodation establishments and venues to get graded and stay graded under the star grading system of the TGCSA. A graded establishment has access to a basket of benefits through TGCSA and these benefits include boosting customer confidence and also marketing aspect which yields to sustainable business growth”, added Mohono.
Source: Government of South Africa