Plat­inum province plots the path of de­vel­op­met ahead

The New Age (Gauteng) - - FREE STATE NEWS - CHARLOTE HLANGWANE char­loteh@the­

THE North West province is af­fec­tion­ately known as the Plat­inum Province, due to the large scale pro­duc­tion of the min­eral in the Bo­janala district, the provin­cial tourism depart­ment said.

Depart­ment spokesper­son Di­neo Lolok­wane said the province was the largest pro­ducer of plat­inum world­wide and con­tin­ued to boost the provin­cial and na­tional econ­omy.

“How­ever the province is also rich in agri­cul­ture, cul­ture and tourism. The trio are mainly em­bed­ded in the pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged ar­eas of the province.

“The fifth ad­min­is­tra­tion of the province has how­ever iden­ti­fied eco­nomic po­ten­tial growth in vil­lages, town­ships and small dor­pies (VTSD) ar­eas of the province,” Lolok­wane said.

There are 753 such ar­eas in the province and the provin­cial gov­ern­ment has re­solved to strengthen eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties in the ar­eas with the sole ob­jec­tive of en­hanc­ing lo­cal economies.

Tourism chief di­rec­tor Ish­mael Kgokong said the other ob­jec­tives of the plan were to en­cour­age the par­tic­i­pa­tion of ben­e­fi­ciary com­mu­ni­ties and stake­hold­ers in project ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined to make sure that the VTSD con­cept iden­ti­fies op­por­tu­ni­ties that are in those ar­eas, un­earths new prod­ucts and pro­vides the nec­es­sary sup­port that will ul­ti­mately ben­e­fit lo­cals,” Kgokong said.

“North West is rich in cul­ture and her­itage, and through lo­cal cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties jobs can be cre­ated and fur­ther boost lo­cal economies.

“We ex­ist to create a con­ducive plat­form and en­vi­ron­ment for those who are in­ter­ested in tourism pro­grammes and those who are al­ready in the in­dus­try. We hope that by the end on this pro­gramme most VTSD ar­eas shall have iden­ti­fied tourism prod­ucts that at­tracts both in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal tourists.

“Crit­i­cal to em­bark­ing on this pro­gramme, we need to fo­cus on five crit­i­cal ar­eas that will de­ter­mine the suc­cess, growth and devel­op­ment of the in­dus­try in the North West province.

“These ar­eas are fa­cil­i­tat­ing ac­cess to var­i­ous tourism des­ti­na­tions, ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion, en­hance­ment of vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences, ef­fec­tive des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment and, more im­por­tantly, com­mu­nity ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion.

“This will res­onate well with the pro­gramme of build­ing an in­clu­sive econ­omy in line with the rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion prin­ci­ples,” he said.

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