Spotlight on ocean tourism plans

Ward 79, including Portland, Rocklands and parts of Strandfontein, hosted a tourism workshop.

Tourism along the coastline can create more than a million jobs.

So says Stanley Ngwetjana, from the national department of tourism’s experience and route development directorate. He was speaking at a Ward 79 workshop at Rocklands civic centre on Wednesday December 7.

“The South African coastline and surrounding oceans can be used to create more than one million jobs by 2033, with a potential Gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of R177 billion,” he said

“The Coastline spans over 2 900km and can be used to promote tourism by utilising untapped resources, existing infrastructure and tourism products,” he said.

He said they were looking at engaging communities, especially the youth, with specific reference to skills development.

He listed shark cage diving, windsurfing, snorkelling, exploring shipwrecks and diamond sea experiences as possible ocean activities.

Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 79, including Portland, Rocklands and parts of Strandfontein, has been advocating for decades to have economic opportunities brought to the False Bay coast.

In October he hosted a workshop to reignite the tourism industry in Mitchell’s Plain after it died down years ago (“Collaboration needed to grow ’Plain tourism”, Plainsman October 26).

“We need to advance tourism and use it as a vehicle to open economic opportunities for our people. We need to see development and bring that trillion rand bar, between Big Bay and Hout Bay, to this side,” he said.

DA proportional representative (PR) councillor Dr Arlene Adams said: “It is quite an indictment on national government to have neglected Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and Strandfontein beaches. Why does it take so long? This is a great economic opportunity to get our people out of poverty. People are in poverty because there aren’t economic activities along this particular part of the coast,” she said.

Dr Adams as a City official said that it was also an indictment on the municipality to allow this to continue.

“We need move from pen to paper to action,” she said.

Sisa Ngondo, the City of Cape Town’s area South economic development official, said it was necessary to craft opportunities within coastal tourism.

“We want to see how communities, individuals both large and small can tap into opportunities in the ocean.

“There are regulations, policies and strategies in place and perhaps there is a need for people to access these opportunities to create jobs,” he said.

Wolfgat Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairman Jerome September, treasurer Whilma Kellerman, tourism representative Elizabeth Hendricks, secretary Coreen Niemand and Rocklands resident Sandra Esau.

Igshaan Carstens, founder of Strandfontein Agricultural, Aqua Marine and Boating Association (SAAMBA), said for years they have submitted proposals to the City to have access to the coast but this was hampered by legislation and permits.

Rocklands resident Clive Bailey said the wheel did not have to be reinvented.

“It must lead to an implementation plan for our coast,” he said.