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SA seeks to partner Botswana on tourism

ISAAC PINIELO
Desbo Mohong
Botswana and the Northwest Province of South Africa need to join hands in order to improve tourism in both the countries, a Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for the North West Province, South Africa, said last week.

Speaking at a media briefing at Gaborone Sun, Desbo Mohong asserted that Botswana and the Northwest Province have similar qualities, noting that both economies rely heavily on mining.

She emphasised that Botswana and the North West Province have been over-reliant on the mining industry for many years, regretting that this is an industry that is beginning to bear no fruits at all.

“Most will know about the recent Marikana strike that has seen our brothers and sisters losing their lives. Now that was just a tip of an ice bag,” she said.

The MEC said they have realised that they cannot rely heavily on the mining sector no more. She indicated that they then came up with means and stakes on how to put the interest of the people forward. “Now we saw that with tourism you do not really need money to succeed but rather you need to be active and creative in your plans then money will surely come on at a later stage,” said Mohong. She further stressed that their visit to Botswana is a milestone in helping them to unlock the economic potential of heritage and cultural resources through responsible and sustainable tourism development.

Again, she said their mandate as the North West Tourism is to further establish while

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enhancing strategic partnerships and the participation of local communities in order to stimulate livelihoods at community level.

Mohong said the department is also on a mission to make sure that it increases education levels in profiling the conservation and preservation needs of heritage and cultural resources for sustenance, which will be in line with the values of culture, standards and norms.

“It is also our mandate to see to it that we diversify all tourism products that the province is producing thus formalising the niche of cultural tourism. We are tasked by the provincial government in turning the economy of the province into a milking cow,” she said.

Having created what they termed three economic sector triangles that consist of agriculture, culture and tourism Mohong said they are in Botswana to further propel their position in making sure that the economy grows with an estimated six percent as per the provincial wish and mandate.

“I can assure you that the north west province is a fertile ground that is waiting to cultivate your investments. It is not just with our skills, beaming pastures, renewable energy, manufacturing, agriculture, mining sectors but with our devoted hearts and the true spirit of Madiba of putting our people first at all times,” she emphasised.



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