Some of our members may have been interested to hear several appeals from Western Cape MEC Alan Winde on ‘Cape Talk Radio’ asking for people to respond to the Province’s “Hot Line” to identify ‘Red Tape’ inhibitors to economic expansion. In our case tourism is central to the local economy and heritage tourism a wide open opportunity for expansion.
Minister Winde is a very respected member of the DA’s Cabinet responsible for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism. He is a strong advocate of tourism development a matter that is vital to us in Hout Bay where we have massive unemployment but equally massive tourism potential on Cape Town’s doorstep.
Whilst it is important to market tourism throughout the Western Cape it is equally important to understand the market. The population of Cape Town is greater than the rest of the Province combined and hence it has the greatest concentration of potential domestic tourists.
I personally was glad to hear Minister Winde suggest that we should visit the West Coast Fossil Park which I know to be unique and a very worthwhile Heritage Site destination. However, the likely cost of a +/- R 500 premium for petrol alone is somewhat prohibitive for the average Cape Town Family for a day visit.
Our Province must look towards finding Heritage Tourism destinations nearer to its domestic market by encouraging cooperative governance between our Heritage and Tourism Authorities. Hout Bay is a prime example of a community which is being treated as just another suburb, which is rapidly losing is ability to attract tourism expansion by overcrowding and massive crime and trying to squeeze more and more residents into less and less space.
Hout Bay as a whole, is one of Cape Town’s greatest heritage tourism assets, the third oldest surviving settlement in the country. However, its proclaimed Heritage Sites have been ignored by the Heritage Authorities and are fast disappearing. A stunning example of inept asset management.
We hope that Alan Winde’s plea to the business community will inspire him to look more inwardly at our Province’s Heritage and Tourism Departments and the log-jam within the administration which is stopping progress - but don’t hold your breath.
Read a submission to the Hot Line by one of our residents who outlines the problem and offers a solution:- How to get Heritage Tourism up and running.
If you think our Province has problems they pale to insignificance compared to DAC (National Government’s Department of Arts and Culture) they cant even find the Minister!
National Arts & Culture (Heritage) Portfolio Committee Annual Report 2011/12 (which has yet to happen)! The Minister, Deputy Minister and Director General of the Dept of Arts and Culture were nowhere to be found! Come in Zapiro?
Editorial Oct 2012
Hope from the Western Cape Red Tape Hot Line ?