UNLIMITED INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOUTH COAST
Two high value tourism products – the KwaXolo Caves and the Umzumbe River Trail – have been identified for development as the South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) begins to work with key stakeholders, businesses and local communities to unlock investment potential along the KZN South Coast.
Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE confirmed that they were working with industry leaders and decision makers to unlock value in a region that had performed particularly well over the recent festive season.
The KZN South Coast enjoyed a bumper festive season in 2022 with Ugu District celebrating a 97% occupancy rate – the highest in the province – for the last week of the year. Throughout the season, the beaches remained safe and open for bathing. The region boasts the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the province. Alongside the coastal attractions, it is also home to world-renowned dive sites, extensive trails, nature reserves, golf courses and adventure sports – offering unlimited opportunities when it comes to tourism investment.
“Through these partnerships, we’re improving the business climate by facilitating interventions and identifying unique investment opportunities. Some prime examples of this are KwaXolo Caves and the Umzumbe River Trail, two high-value tourism products that are identified for development with the intention of bringing in keen investors looking for a sound return on investment,” Mangcu said.
THE UMZUMBE RIVER TRAIL
Combining cultural and adventure tourism, the 71km Umzumbe River Trail has been developed as a joint venture between SCTIE and the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA). Drawing on the international interest in such nature trails, it’s anticipated that the Umzumbe River Trail will become a major tourism asset as eco-tourism demand increases.
This week-long hiking adventure is led by local tour guides who have received Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA)-accredited qualifications, allowing them to better facilitate these nature walks and overnight homestays. SCTIE is currently identifying a development site for a lodge, with a feasibility study in the works to further identify investment potential.
THE KWAXOLO CAVES
Further to this, the EDTEA has committed to investing a grant of R6,150 million to the existing KwaXolo Caves, another of the region’s key cultural, adventure and eco-tourism attractions.
The site, identified by Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, has the potential to attract upmarket visitors from the iconic tourism node consisting of Margate, Southbroom and Port Edward within a 15km radius. This is an established tourism product that provides visitors with a unique hike – using the Via Ferrata system – into these caves which are adorned with centuries-old San artwork. This provides an authentic cultural experience that so many tourists desire.
The funding will allow for further, phased-in development, including the establishment of a restaurant and kitchen, coffee shop, amphitheatre, ablution facilities and storeroom, picnic area, children’s play area, and fencing for enhanced safety. Opportunities for construction using natural, locally found materials are being explored, as is the implementation of renewable energy supply. For extreme sports enthusiasts, construction has already begun on the three-point zipline, as well as a High Wire Bridge and a decking walkway to connect to the zipline.
“This development presents several investment prospects whether you’re looking to explore the immense small business opportunities. Those in the hospitality sector can invest in restaurants or food stalls, while outdoor activities in the form of horse riding and bungee jumping are also possible. The site will require security and the hiring of equipment, among many other opportunities,” Mangcu added.
SCTIE has partnered with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to establish a One Stop Shop office on the KZN South Coast. This aims to improve the efficiency of doing business, ensuring investors have access to municipal incentives in the district, such as those being offered through the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality (RNM).
Extending from Port Shepstone, the area’s economic hub, throughout the KZN South Coast, there are so many investment opportunities. To find out more about these #unlimitedopportunities, get in touch with SCTIE, the KZN South Coast’s One-Stop Shop for investment. Contact SCTIE on 039 682 7944, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.investkznsouthcoast.co.za.