Facelift for Komjekejeke heritage site

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has officially handed over facilities built by his department at the Komjekejeke heritage site in Wallmansthal, east of Pretoria.

The Department of Tourism constructed the multi-purpose hall and amphitheatre, with the view of driving tourism in the area.

The construction included new ablution blocks, three new traditional dwellings, 20 picnic sites, renovation of existing buildings including the VIP lapa, existing staff houses and the painting of buildings.

Minister Hanekom said Komjekejeke, a Ndebele word meaning 'place of happiness', will make sure that cultural tourism grows in leaps and bounds.

"The intention is that we link tourism and culture so that people can experience the richness of our country's culture."

He envisaged that the facility will create employment opportunities, develop a vibrant, equitable and sustainable local economy that will assist the community to share in the benefits of tourism.

Minister Hanekom called on the community to visit the site to experience the culture and not just visit.

Currently, the Komjekejeke heritage site is utilised for hosting the Ndebele annual Silamba cultural day in March.

King Ingwenyama Makhosonke II of the Ndebele nation welcomed the facelift, as more facilities are still needed to make it a one-stop tourist area.

"Our kids will come to this place to learn about their culture and the importance of traveling. The community needs to play their part and contribute ideas on how best this place can be run. After all this place was built for the community," the King said, adding that the site will also help protect the culture of the Ndebele nation.

Source: South African Government News Agency.