Executive Mayor of MDM, Cllr. Joshua Matlou
Local Mayor Cllr. Sono
Mayors and councilors of Local Municipalities in the district
Members of the LTA Board present
All Traditional Leaders present
Acting HOD of LEDET, Mr. Kgopong
Representative of the Department of Sports and Culture
All members of the Local Organizing Committee
The Managing Director of Ziyaphenduka Protions, Mr. Bruce Kgapane
Representatives of the partners
Members of the Media present
Ladies and gentlemen
- Approximately six months ago, we rolled out our Domestic Umbrella Marketing Campaign, which was officially launched in July 2011 which sought to galvanise the people of Limpopo and beyond to be part of the festivities celebrating our rich culture and heritage. Limpopo is indeed a living example of unity in diversity.
- Limpopo Marula Festival is one of the events we will be celebrating under the “Celebrate With Us” segment of the campaign.
- Ladies and gentlemen, this we did as part of our innovation to grow tourism in the province in line with National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), but most importantly to urge our people in the province to travel. We believe Limpopo Marula Festival will not disappoint as it is one of our very flagship events on the tourism calendar.
- It is our intention to abuzz with visitors and tourists from many parts of our country including South Africa’s neighbouring SADC countries, such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique.
- Marula Festival has to date come to be an enormous brand to be reckoned with seven years after it was launched in 2007 with a mere 500 people. Last year, the event attracted more than 30 000 people from all over the country and beyond.
- The event continues to be one of the flagship events drawing droves of people to Limpopo. We are indeed very pleased to be associated with a successful brand like Marula Festival.
- The event is undoubtedly one major contributor of the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s economy, while it significantly also contributes to the economy of the province.
- We are optimistic that the town of Phalaborwa with its capacity of 1349 beds will be fully booked due to this event and this is good news for the tourism and hospitality sector in Limpopo Province. Our wish is to see a proliferation of tourism products in the area thereby growing tourism in the district.
- This festival continues to benefit ordinary people and to date nine (9) Mukumbi Cooperatives from various District Municipalities producing Marula by-products with ninety (90) members have been registered. We are confident that the festival will continue to grow in bounds given the partnership with other key stakeholders like Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Provincial Government and the private sector.
- Phalaborwa has been chosen the permanent of home of the festival because of its tourism profile and proximity to other major tourist destinations including the world’s renowned Kruger National Park incorporated within the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park which includes Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
- The partnership with Ziyaphenduka Promotions through Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, has indeed brought in much needed improvement to the festival because for the first time in its history, there will be three different genres of music to cater for revelers with different tastes of music.
- We are making a clarion call to one and all to descend to Phalaborwa to celebrate the rich heritage of Marula with us.
- We will continue to leverage on the event and use it as a draw card for attracting tourists from other parts of the country and the world to visit Limpopo during this period.
- We wish to plead with music revellers and all who will be part of this festival to continue to support tourism in the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality and Limpopo Province in general.
I thank you.