Tourism Tour: Gearing up for a bumper summer season in the Cape Winelands
Continuing with her Tourism Tour to highlight the diverse tourism offerings and the economic opportunities they bring, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger visited Stellenbosch and Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands District.
“The Cape Winelands district is breathtakingly beautiful which is why it is so popular with domestic and foreign tourists alike, who come to enjoy the rich heritage, outdoor activities, scenic drives, and wine tasting on offer,” Said Minister Wenger.
“It has been so wonderful to hear from all the tourism spots I have visited so far that they are all expecting a bumper summer season, especially since we will be receiving 24 direct flights to Cape Town from the UK and a further 13 direct flights per week direct from the US.”
Accompanied by the Deputy Mayor of Stellenbosch Municipality, Jeremy Fasser, the Stellenbosch MMC for Local Economic Development and Tourism, Lizette Du Toit, the Stellenbosch MMC for Financial Services, Peter Johnston, and the Cape Winelands District MMC for Economic Development, Koos Steyn, Minister Wenger began at Amazink in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch – South Africa’s first township dinner theatre.
At Amazink, the delegation received a presentation on the Visit Stellenbosch enterprise development programme, which includes three projects, being the Township and Village social enterprise, Ida’s Valley Community Trails and Bag4bread.
Township and Village (T&V) was established in 2018 to bring about sustainable local economic development in Stellenbosch. The social enterprise is focused on activating community tourism and providing formal market access.
Through the T&V programme, 17 tourism products have been developed and activated in local communities.
Minister Wenger said: “I applaud the economic development work of Visit Stellenbosch (VS) in the local tourism sector. It was great to meet some of the Iocal tourism entrepreneurs, like the women of Bags4Bread who produce custom made upcycled conference items. I especially loved Amazink, which has a fantastic vibe and is a wonderful example of community tourism.”
“It was a great honour to accompany Minister Wenger on her tour of our beautiful Valley. Our region relies heavily on business and leisure tourism to create and sustain jobs. Many of our local businesses, from small businesses to well established wineries, entrepreneurships to large companies and restaurants to guest houses were hard hit during the pandemic. It is wonderful to see the recovery and revival of our tourism sector. Stellenbosch and our surrounding towns have all the qualities needed to make us a destination of choice – spectacular landscapes, top-end facilities, a vast choice of excellent accommodation, easy accessibility, and a plethora of activities. We truly are a destination of choice. As a municipality, we see the value in tourism and the opportunities it unlocks for all our communities.” said Deputy Mayor Fasser.
Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch, added: “One cannot think of Stellenbosch as a town without tourism because our economy is so intricately linked to tourism – up to 40% of Stellenbosch’s economy is directly or indirectly linked to tourism. Consequently, our efforts in the past few years to bring the full tourism eco-system together under the umbrella of Visit Stellenbosch, from wine to activities, accommodation to conferencing, has not only created a powerful foundation on which to promote destination Stellenbosch and its incredible diversity and depth of experience, it has also fueled so many innovative initiatives to boost the town’s economy and create jobs.”
Thereafter, the Minister visited Franschhoek to celebrate the town being named in the top 50 places in the world by Time Magazine and had the opportunity to ride the iconic Wine Tram, which has previously welcomed over 1000 passengers daily during peak season. The Wine Tram currently offers several different experiences, like the Hop-on Hop-off Experience allowing guests to visit a collection of the 26 wineries the Tram services, at their own pace.
Meeting with Mr. Siguqa, owner of the Klein Goederust wine farm, who was specifically mentioned in the Time Magazine story, was another highlight. Mr Siguqa, bought and renovated the 100-year-old farm in 2019.
Mr Siguqa said: “We are very honoured to have the Minister visit us and recognizing the stellar work being done by the people that work in the wine and tourism industry in Franschhoek.”
“I was truly inspired by Mr Siguqa’s story of growing up in the region as a son of a farm worker and his journey to becoming the owner of Klein Goederust. His remarkable story is one that we need to replicate across the province and country.” concluded Minister Wenger.
Source: Government of South Africa