MEC Sihle Zikalala on tourism infrastructure projects

Billions in tourism infrastructure projects mooted for KZN

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has unveiled billions of rands worth of infrastructure projects aimed at increasing its domestic and international tourism share.

Among the major tourism infrastructure projects in the pipeline are beach resorts and hotels; including Tinley Manor Beach Resort valued at R1.2 billion; Blythedale Coastal Resort, valued at R350 million, both of which are the Northern parts of KZN.

In Durban alone, tourism infrastructure projects to the tune of more than R50-billion have been planned.

These include of a major facelift to the Point Waterfront, which is valued at R40 billion, upgrades to the Warwick precinct, valued at R1.3 billion as well as the Centrum government precinct development which is valued at R9.3 billion which includes extensions to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Speaking at a business breakfast ahead of Africa's Tourism Indaba today, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala, was upbeat about the province's tourism prospects.

We are of the firm belief that tourism in KwaZulu-Natal tourism is poised to take a positive growth trajectory. This is a sector that contributes 8% to the provincial GDP which translates to a conservative figure of R24 billion in financial terms.

Our ambitions are centered on our Tourism Master Plan, which serves as the blueprint towards increased tourism figures, especially with respect to the attraction of foreign visitors.

As part of the Tourism Master Plan, Zikalala said, KwaZulu-Natal wanted to grow the tourism impact on the province's GDP to between R65 billion and R98 billion over the next two years which create 183 000 direct jobs.

Ultimately, we want to attract no less than 3.4 million international visitors by 2030. On the domestic front, we intend increasing our local market share to 16.3 million by 2020 and 24.1 million by 2030, said Zikalala.

Other mega projects in preparation include the Virginia Airport redevelopment at R6.1 billion, the Durban Iconic Tower which will be the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere at R7.3 billion, and the Durban Film City at R7.5 billion.

A number of extensions to existing developments are underway including the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, the Suncoast Hotel, Oceans Umhlanga which will incorporate the Redison, as well as some of the city's major retail malls, the Gateway Threatre of Shopping in Umhlanga and the Pavilion and Westwood malls in Westville.

Source: Government of South Africa