’Plain tourism plans debated

Wolfgat Nature Reserve is a valuable untapped tourist destination.

Wolfgat councillors grilled the City of Cape Town’s Area Economic Development Department on their proposed tourism plan for area south, which was tabled at their monthly sub-council meeting, with most wanting to know when projects would be up and running.

Sheval Arendse, councillor for Ward 82 and sub-council chairperson, asked for a timeline, saying that often projects were started but died after sponsorship ran out. “These are entrepreneurs and they need guidance. A hand must be kept on them and (they must be) asked to produce regular meeting minutes,” he said.

Thulani Dasa, DA Proportional Representative (PR) councillor, tasked officials with presenting information specific to the plan for Mitchell’s Plain.

“I’m sure the people of Mitchell’s Plain have ideas and would like to decide how Mitchell’s Plain will benefit from this plan,” he said.

Another DA PR councillor, Willem Doman, said there were hardly any tourist destinations listed for Mitchell’s Plain.

In the department’s presentation, they said local government should be the agent for change and the vehicle for development at a local level.

Pumla Mgwali, professional officer for Area Economic Development, said local authorities have the responsibility to exercise this developmental mandate across all functions delivered at local level, including the development and marketing of the tourism sector.

A Mitchell’s Plain heritage routes projects has been proposed, which includes the development of a walking tour route that will showcase local tourism attractions, with tours being led by local operators.

The department has also proposed training local tour guides and that a feasibility study be undertaken to explore the development of a beach walking trail, from Muizenberg to Mnandi beach.

Ms Mgwali said the way forward would be to develop a tourism plan, by collating, processing and consolidating inputs; that the tourism plan needs to be discussed by Area South sub-councils; and further engagement with other tourism stakeholders and interested parties be facilitated.

The final plan needs to be approved by the Mayor’s representative for Area South and signed off based service delivery executive director for implementation.