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LTA MEETS SALGA AND MUNICIPALITIES FOR COMMON PLANNING AND MAINSTREAMING TOURISM IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

LIMPOPO; POLOKWANE: Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) has made it part of its culture to engage its stakeholders every quarter. Key among its stakeholders is Limpopo chapter of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the organized body that advocates for Local Government in the country. The Agency met with SALGA on the 15th November 2023 in Groblersdal, at Kingdom Lodge. LTA and SALGA were represented by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Moses Ngobeni, and Provincial Director of Operations, Ms. Ledile Molope-Sebati respectively.

The purpose for the engagement was to urge both parties to start planning their programmes together going forward but to also ensure that municipalities start considering tourism as an important contributor of the economy in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Ms. Molope-Sebati, who outlined the purpose of the session said, “We need to intentionally collaborate as the power of collaboration is massive. Work of local government should find resonance in tourism, which most people do not understand. My understanding of tourism is that of also contributing like we did by deciding to come here to uncover gems like the Kingdom Lodge, where we are today. This translates in economic development of Elias Motsoaledi Municipality. Economic development is everyone’s responsibility, but what is it that we are doing to ensure that this narrative is realized?”

In his presentation, the CEO of LTA, Mr. Moses Ngobeni, also stressed the importance of tourism in every locality as tourism takes place in a locality. He further stressed how important Limpopo citizens should support tourism in their localities and the province because Limpopo is unlike any other in the country as it has the best. “Our province has a huge competitive advantage of being bordered by three SADC countries, that is, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique sharing borders with Waterberg, Vhembe and Mopani Districts respectively proving how important tourism is in municipalities. The challenge has always been for municipalities not being mainstreamed, that is, not having dedicated units for tourism to be able to specifically deal with issues as they arise”.

Encouraging was the attendance of Cllr. Calvin Masoga, who is also deployed by SALGA to serve in the LTA Board, Mayor of Musina Municipality, Cllr. Godfrey Mawela, a member of SALGA himself, councilors and Members of Mayoral Committees from various municipalities. Presentations were made by Director: Planning and Regulations, Ms. Seema Harmse, from Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Ms. Modjadji Makoela from LTA, Senior Manager:

Destination Marketing, Dr. Mavhungu Musitha from LTA and Manager: Spatial Planning and IDP, Ms. Rebotile Makgati from Sekhukhune District Municipality.

Key among resolutions taken at the forum include the following:

  1. Need to formalize the establishment of tourism structures in all municipalities, with dedicated budgets.
  2. Incorporation and alignment the LTA marketing mandate with communication and marketing strategies of municipalities.
  3. Need to establish a provincial marketing fund to cater for major trade & marketing exhibitions.
  4. Joint concretization of bidding proposals for major events in the province.
  5. Development of an Airlift Strategy to enhance ease of access into the province, linking into SADC.
  6. Development of packages that include Rovos Rail and Blue Train – to enhance promotion of the province.
  7. Development of an integrated framework for collation of information and statistics (to quantify the impact of the contribution of the tourism sector).
  8. Co-ordination of roads infrastructure needs from all municipalities.
  9. Collaboration with municipalities on key tourism projects for inclusion in IDPs to enhance implementation of the One District Development Model.
  10. Creation of a framework for establishment of tourism structures in all districts.
  11. Piloting of a possibility of developing Regulations to enhance the Limpopo Tourism Act to make provision for the creation of tourism structures in municipalities.

In his closing remarks, the Mayor of Musina Municipality, Cllr. Godfrey Mawela, said, “It is just unfortunate that I am the only mayor at this important session, which requires us to always work together from the planning phase. LTA should be part of all the integrated development plans (IDPs) to understand how municipalities operate”. He thanked everyone for participating in the forum.

End//

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF LTA BY:

MIKE TAUATSOALA

HEAD: CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS & PR

LIMPOPO TOURISM AGENCY

Tel: 015 293 3600

Cell: 082 886 3294

Email: miket@golimpopo.com

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