Thousands of South African Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) owners will be given an opportunity to showcase their offerings to businesses from across world at the Meetings Africa conference taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The event is organised by Tourism South Africa, to assist with showcasing the country as more than just a tourist destination, but also for business purposes.


CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, says people tend to forget that tourism is not just leisure but for business as well which is what Meetings Africa is all about and making sure that they increase the number of conferences incentive meetings that they have in South Africa.

“We have about 1.2 million people that come to these conferences every year and South Africa is the number one conference destination for Africa and the Middle East.”

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The Eastern Cape has several plans to commemorate South Africa’s greatest leader, Nelson Mandela, which is being exhibited at the conference.

This comes as 2018 is the centenary year in South African history of Mandela.

Plans in the Eastern Cape will include the Centenary Tourism Programme in Mthatha and the programme includes the initiative called ‘Release Mandela: Historic Memories’, a special App called ‘100 places and spaces App’ that encourages all to visit Madiba tourist spots across the province.

Andrew Whitfield from the Nelson Mandela Bay Economic development, tourism and agriculture department says the exhibitions will run from Mandela Day throughout the rest of the year and they will support all the national programmes that will be rolled out by the national department.

“This is a national programme and is not only about Nelson Mandela Bay but we hope and believe that we will be the centre piece for the year of celebrations because it is his after all Nelson Mandela Bay and not Port Elizabeth anymore.”

Gauteng is the richest province in South Africa and some might say that Sandton is the economic capital of not only South Africa but the continent itself.

Such events further emphasise the importance of Gauteng as a draw card for business because of its infrastructure and amenities which can enable the province to compete globally.

Nomaswazi Tinus, who is one of the Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) owner’s showcasing her craft, says to see, meet and interact with hosted buyers of the world is amazing and the conference is an amazing opportunity.