Yes, this goes back to political history both States have experienced, including socially and economically.
As part of benchmarking on opportunities presenting themselves outside the borders of SA, the Gauteng Tourism is on an intensive campaign to increase visitation, position shopping, music, fashion and urban lifestyle as one of Gauteng City Regions offerings in key African Markets, and the exotic Mozambique was next on the list.
As part of its #GPLifestyle campaign key strategic media partners- musicians, fashion gurus and adventure stakeholders -were invited to hop along and experience first-hand, what’s behind the concept and how it plans to achieve its Return on Investments, among others.
Key message to drive lifestyle events such as Joy of Jazz, Sansui Summer Cup, Dstv Food Delicious and promoting kasie/local tourism.
The elated Sipho Ngwenya, CE at GTA says the objective of the campaign is to draw and conscientious tourists from Mozambique, finish & klaar.
“This would allow for market accessibility and affordability to our counterparts when they visit our shores, considering Moz is one of our huge economical contributors,” he said.
“Gauteng and particularly Joburg is affordable, therefore this notion that it cost an-arm and a-leg is a distorted notion.”
Mozambicans arrival figures into South Africa have been on the rise since 2012, although the latest figures were not readily available at the time of publishing.
However, one can safely point that overall these travelers into mzansi from Moz spend on average +R11 billion annually.
According to Ngwenya, this augurs well for our market and we want to therefore, increase that spend on merchandising, lifestyle activities, fashion, in our four major nodal points Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Westrand and Joburg.
“Most of them know our history so do we. Dr Fabian and Florence Ribeiro, from Moz have been posthumously been awarded Honorary Doctorate by our President that goes to show the political relationship we have with our neighbour States.
Of course, the visitors would love to visit Mamelodi to witness the role both stalwarts played in shaping the democracy of our country.”
Apart from visiting the hot and happening clubs in Maputo such as Coconuts Live and Mundos, we also had the courtesy to be hosted by SA Deputy High Commissioner Stanley Makgohlo at his official residence Khayalethu for an official welcome reception.
In his welcome speech in the evening the cool but intelligent (also in Portuguese) Limpopo born Makgohlo said “You’re all welcome. This is your home. Feel free to interact and let’s get merry”, and so we did, until wee hours of the morning.
The following day, with pounding headaches, as we sipped psychedelic cocktails and serenaded by unassuming weather, we took turns on an astounding beach courtesy of Soweto Adventure bikes, as both SA and Moz models showed off what its in-store for locals.
Remarked Kgomotso Pooe, founder of Soweto Adventurers that the exhibition is to market what Soweto, Tshwane, Vaal, WestRand and Ekhurhuleni is capable of.
“Gone are those day when our mothers and fathers used to create top brands for exclusive boutiques and sell those brands back at us. Now, we produce our own, quality brands hence the inclusion of fashion exhibition by our locals such as Ephymol.
Soweto, should now be in the class of City expansion programme because we can no longer allow money to live Soweto. It cannot be. We have capacity, skills and knowledge thanks to GTA and other organizations that believe in us, to produce end products,” he said.
Asked what were the benefits of such campaigns, he said in Botswana alone, he’s secured five groups worth R350 000. This happened this year, and his message to other SMMEs is to persevere and the rest will take shape.
“Gauteng is the smallest province in the country yet it is the economical hub of Africa. Therefore, such activations means taking advantage of what Gauteng has and what it creates such as accessibility, business opportunities and quantifying what tourism contributes,” says Kehla Mthembu- chairperson of the GTA board.
Asked what impact would SMMEs have on such campaigns, Mthembu said ‘inclusive economy’.
“This means developing and empowering them through such activations and also opening markets for them. We’re going to see more of such campaigns taking place in other regions that appeal to the SA and Gauteng markets.”
Our stay at the four-star Cardoso Hotel, Maputo was made possible by the entire receptive staff. Kudos to the management as well.
“These kinds of campaigns will benefit us socially and economically,” quipped Danile Timana, a well known entrepreneur and music promoter in Maputo, who is reportedly bringing in one of US top selling artist soon. And we’re invited.
Amen! Sydney Morweng’s trip was made possible by GTA
Mozambique Population: 25,303,113
GDP:$33.19bn (2015 est.)
Area:799,380 sq km