Tourism stakeholders in the North West say they expect the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) to focus on improving the ailing government-owned tourism facilities.
The sector is battling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism activist, Kagiso Legobe says the deterioration of sites such as the Klein Marico Recreational Centre has also meant immeasurable losses for those who depend on tourism for business.
Legobe says, “North West has moved from number three to number eight now in terms of tourism output. During the World Cup, we were number three in the country, and now the situation is like this, wherever you find facilities which used to create jobs, which used to create opportunities for entrepreneurs like us being left dilapidated like this or in the state like this. I hope those are the things which will be addressed.”
Communities living near abandoned tourism sites are bearing the brunt of the losses.
One community member says, “Nothing has been done since this tourism site was left to collapse. Unemployment has also risen.”
Another one says, “It was place we used to relax, now our children end up entertaining themselves with alcohol. They have no places to go to relax and enjoy.”
“We need this place to be fixed because there are no jobs and no where for us to relax,” a resident adds.