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The Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Mr Raseriti Tau, has encouraged the Northern Cape provincial government to look beyond the Big Hole in Kimberly as the sole selling point of the province in relation to growing tourism.

Mr Tau was speaking during the first day of the Provincial Week programme in Kimberly. Provincial Week is a programme that provides an opportunity for the NCOP and Provincial Legislatures to engage directly with citizens on challenges they experience. It also provides an opportunity to receive reports from government departments and municipalities on progress made regarding service delivery.

The Northern Cape delegation highlighted that the province was not leveraging enough on the tourism potential it has. “We need to leverage rural tourism to increase the inflow of people into the province, thereby growing the economy and creating much-needed jobs,” Mr Tau said.

He highlighted that the Department of Economic Development has put aside funding for innovative ideas outside the norm. “I am happy that the National Department of Economic Development has come up with this initiative that encourages innovative thinking. People must be encouraged to access this funding and create job opportunities,” Mr Tau emphasised.

Mr Tau further clarified that his call is not aimed at undermining the Big Hole but aimed at the diversification of the tourism basket within the province to encourage the increase of tourists that visit the province.

Mr Charel de Beer, a permanent NCOP delegate, emphasised the need to improve the road network within the province to ensure that people are able to move from one point to another without fear. “Roads bring economic activity and there must be sufficient investment in the infrastructure development of roads from the N7 Road to the Atlantic Ocean for ease of travel,” Mr De Beer.

The delegation will tomorrow visit various projects aimed at creating jobs within the province.

By Malatswa Molepo

10 October 2017