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Northern Cape Business 2022-23

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Since 2009, Northern Cape Business has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the region. It is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector focused infrastructure development.

OVERVIEW Tourism

OVERVIEW Tourism SANParks has launched a Stokvel and Travel Club. SECTOR INSIGHT Country Hotels has opened a new series of restaurants. Credit: Sun International There are six national parks in the province, each with distinct geographical and biological features. Most of the province lies in the Nama-Karoo Biome and the annual display of spring flowers is spectacular. The announcement by SANParks in 2021 that a special programme for members of stokvels opened up the prospect of a new market for the province’s national parks. There are more than 800 000 stokvels, or savings clubs, in South Africa and the prospect of discounted rates might well interest members. The scheme is called Stokvel & Travel Club and is part of an attempt by SANParks to grow domestic tourism, particularly among black people. Other goals include raising awareness of SANParks’ role in environmental science and conservation. A 21-year search came to an exciting end in 2021 when botanist Pieter van Wyk found a Namaquanula bruce-bayeri flower in the |Ai|Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Under severe pressure from trampling by animals, the plant is described as the single rarest flowering plant in the park. Other rare succulent plants in the Succulent Karoo biome have a new level of protection with the declaration of four new parks in the Northern Cape. The Karrasberge Protected Area which is the collective name for the four new provincial reserves will also preserve these plants. UNESCO describes the Succulent Karoo as the “most biologically diverse arid area in the world”. The north-western portion of the province is known as the Green Kalahari. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (with Botswana) encompasses 3.7-million hectares, making it one of the biggest conservation areas in the world. The Kalahari in the north-east is home to many of the province’s biggest mines, but also to great numbers of raptors, vultures and owls. A specialist raptor route has been developed. A proposed Heritage Route traces the footprints of the early missionaries. Hunting is a lucrative subsection of the tourism sector that brings valuable economic development to rural communities. The Diamond Fields region contains the spectacular Big Hole, the Mokala National Park and portions of the famed South African War or Battlefields Route. The Magersfontein War Memorial is an iconic attraction. The Karoo region encompasses the south-eastern portion of the province. While most of the region is dry, the Vanderkloof Dam is a major tourism asset. Many of the region’s small towns are geared to cater to tourists drawn to the magic of the Karoo’s open spaces and features famous Karoo towns such as De Aar, Britstown, Hanover, Victoria West and Carnarvon. Other attractions are the unique Karoo architecture, rock art, ancient Paleo surfaces, farm stays and the famous Karoo lamb. The Namakwa region is famous for its flowers, but it NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23 30

OVERVIEW also hosts the South African Astronomical Observatory, several historic mission settlements, the Namaqua National Park (on the West Coast) and the aweinspiring Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Springbok and Calvinia are the two major towns in this huge district, which is also the only Northern Cape region with a coastline and soon to be the home of a new harbour. A Provincial Tourism Recovery plan assisted enterprises that suffered in the Covid-19 lockdowns. In the first phase, 124 enterprises received funding from the Tourism Relief Fund to the value of R6.2-million and 105 tourist guides were supported through the Freelance Tourist Guide Relief Fund in the amount of R475 000. Hotels The Flamingo Casino (pictured) is run by Sun International and offers gaming tables, slot machines and conference facilities. Two years of lockdown finally ended in April 2022 for the live music venue within the casino, Bar 129, with the announcement that shows would start again every Thursday. With eight properties in the Northern Cape covering a range of accommodation options from camping to hotels, the investment strategy of Country Hotels has reached maturity. The group also has a few hotels in the northern Western Cape, catering to the same market of flower-lovers and tourists in search of the beauty of arid landscapes. The group recently announced that it had opened a new restaurant chain across its Northern Cape hotels, called The Badgers Grill. The Orange River Rafting Lodge has an obvious purpose while the Namastat Lodge and Caravan Park caters to travellers on the N7. In Calvinia the refurbished Calvinia Hotel and Tankwa Lodge offers 25 air-conditioned rooms and easy access to flower-spotting and the Tankwa Karoo National Park. The Pofadder Inn offers reliable accommodation in one of the region’s smallest towns and the Kakamas Hotel is surrounded by ONLINE RESOURCES Northern Cape Tourism Authority: www.northerncape.org.za Richtersveld: www.richtersveld-conservancy.org South African National Parks: www.sanparks.co.za World Wide Fund for Nature: www.wwf.org.za The NCTA partners with several events to raise the province’s tourism profile. Credit: Experience Northern Cape vineyards in the Orange River valley, on the route frequented by travellers to popular destinations such as the Augrabies National Park, the Kalahari, Namibia, the Richtersveld and the West Coast. The riverside town of Upington has a large number of guesthouses and bed-andbreakfast establishments, together with a 90-room Protea Hotel by Marriott. The Protea Hotel by Marriott Kimberley has 117 rooms and three suites and is located next to the Big Hole. Also near the capital city’s biggest attraction is the historic Kimberley Club Boutique Hotel. Tsogo Sun has two properties in Kimberley: a 135-room Garden Court and a 64-room budget hotel, SUN1. Investment opportunities General opportunities for investors in the tourism sector include: • Nature and game reserves • Adventure tourism • Upgrading of accommodation facilities • New attractions and entertainment features (theme parks) • Improve air transport networks. 31 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23

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