A new attraction, a 3D relief map in 30 metres circumference has been built at the Southernmost tip of Africa in the Agulhas National Park, to boost tourism for the surrounding area and was unveiled today.

Dubbed The Iconic Map of Africa Monument, Minister of Tourism, David Hanekom explains the importance of the new structure in generating tourism.

“South Africa’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage found in our national parks are key tourism drawcards. We can only enhance these amazing tourism offerings by adding features like the Iconic Map of Africa Monument to deliver memorable experiences to our visitors and ensure many happy returns. The funding and supporting of infrastructure development projects is particularly important to us – it enables us to fulfill our mandate of creating inclusive economic opportunities for our people. Remember, through these initiatives, people get jobs and local SMMEs also generate income from the services they render. All South Africans should desire tourism growth as it translates into economic growth, jobs, and opportunities for many.”

The symbolism of the structure as a map pays homage to the African continent and the design shows the direction of the compass and included representation of several African landmarks. The structure is located in the southern Overberg region of the Western Cape against a background where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet.

Costing R15-million, the year-long project provided employment for 79 locals, generating income for these works and also involved seven small, media and micro-enterprises.

The project also included the construction of a 1km road, re-alignment of the boardwalk and rehabilitation of the surrounding terrain. During the construction, skills development opportunities were provided for those employed and included painting, plumbing, tiling, and plastering.

Tourism also plays a pivotal role in generating jobs and revenue and the Department of Tourism has created the World for Tourism Programme to support skill and infrastructure development projects.

As a programme, it aims to create jobs through Public Employment Programs (PEP) for tourism through increasing labour intensity of government-funded infrastructure projects.

Hanekom explains how tourism helps to generate economic opportunities.

“Tourism is an industry that can readily deliver the jobs and sustainable economic growth that our country so urgently needs. Through partnerships and collaboration of this nature, we are able to ensure the sustainability of the sector’s growth. I would like to thank South African National Parks as well as colleagues from all spheres of government, for the excellent collaboration that saw this project come to fruition.”

The second phase of the project will start in April 2019 and will focus on the development of a Lighthouse Precinct Project. This will include construction of a conference facility, development of a restraint, interpretive centre, paving, and walkways.

 

Picture: SANParks/ Twitter

 

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.