Cultural village for craft traders

2 April 2003

Informal arts and craft traders in the North West province stand to benefit from a R10-million cultural village to be constructed in Damdoryn in the Madibeng municipality within the next few months.

North West Economic Development and Tourism MEC Maureen Modiselle, together with Environmental Affairs and Tourism Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi, turned the sod on Tuesday at a site earmarked for the construction of the village.

The project, to be named the Tsotsoloso Madibeng Cultural Village, will create integrated tourism cluster activities to help alleviate poverty by accommodating informal traders in a shelter favourable for conducting business.

Speaking at the ceremony, Modiselle said the project would empower informal traders in the arts and crafts industry who sell their wares on a site at the Damdoryn fourway stop on the way to Hartbeespoortdam.

“These traders experience exploitation by the site owners and harsh conditions during bad weather,” Modiselle said.

She added that in the medium and long term, there would be a consolidation of the tourism growth node within the area, which attracts international and local visitors.

“This development is also aimed at increasing access and harnessing the principles of black economic empowerment.”

The provincial economic and tourism department said it has allocated R3.6-million for the project, while the national environmental and tourism department has allocated R6-million. The local municipality secured R1.5-million.

The provincial department said in a statement that the land has been purchased and that plans for capacity-building training are at an advanced stage to empower the traders to run the project as well as maintain the village.

Source: BuaNews