The DA is concerned by the continuing decay of state-owned lodges, resorts and recreational facilities in the North West province.
Yesterday, the legislature finally debated ‘The Harrowing state of tourism in the North West’ in the absence of the Tourism MEC Kenetswe Mosenogi, who as usual is abroad on her vanity international trips. This motion and its urgency were informed by numerous oversight visits done by the DA to the province’s leisure spots in the last few months alone. And it is safe to say what we found during every visit was indeed harrowing.
In September, MEC Mosenogi launched the province’s tourism month. During that month, the Mahikeng Hotel School halted all commercial operations due to a financial crisis. Alarmed, we paid a visit to the hotel school only to find a degenerating facility with only 6 rooms out of 21 operational. The rest, either the ceiling has collapsed or is leaking. See images here, here, and here.
That was the tip of the iceberg.
After writing to MEC Mosenogi, demanding to know what was going on with state owned facilities, we found out that at least 16 lodges and resorts were in a bad state, operating at a significantly reduced capacity or deserted.
The state of these facilities is quite disheartening, especially now that we are approaching the festive season. Many who enjoyed using facilities like Letlamoreng Dam in Mahikeng for family picnics braais, will not be able to do so because it is in an inhabitable state. See images here, here and here.
Some of these facilities are used by the locals for leisure and as business opportunities, especially at a time where unemployment in this province is at an all-time high.
The tourism industry is only taken on board during the many governmental imbizos and stakeholder engagements which bear no results.
The DA will write to MEC Mosenogi to detail their plans to rehabilitate these facilities. We will request a plan with a detailed timeline, budget, and contractors to ensure that some do not see this as an opportunity to steal.
The tourism industry has been neglected by this government for far too long.