|Let me talk to the Mayor|
|Written by Nhlanhla Mabaso|
|Wednesday, 26 August 2009 08:12|
You see, my point here is that people of Nkomazi just do not realize the extent to which this sub-region has been undervalued. An admission has already been made to that effect with the emergence of an organisation aptly termed, Proudly Nkomazi. The folks simply could not live with the lull and they decided to do something about it. Sadly, though, their organisation seemed to have breathed its last just after it had inaugurated its patron, Shakes Nkuna.
Do I hear you accusing me of being grossly opinionated? For starters, has it not struck you that we haven’t done much to maximise the fact that we are uniquely bordering two countries, Swaziland and Mozambique, despite the fact that foundations have already been laid with the advent of the intermunicipal games which have now almost come full circle. No, that is not the line of debate I want to pursue.
What I am saying is that Nkomazi is teeming with opportunities that often go to waste and I used the above as example. On another day I would ask why we still have not explored the commercial value of the abundance of avocadoes at Mbuzini but let me get straight to the point and address myself to something that is not happening in another part of the sub-region which lies far from Mbuzini. Just over the weekend my curiosity got the better of me as I followed a lavish and stylish wedding procession to the Driekoppies Dam.
Now, that is a gem isn’t it? I drifted from the crowd and landed at the foot of the dam and it is amazing how serene the surroundings were. I marvelled at the dam’s unbroken virginity but I was also struck by the fact that this feature is manmade. For what, I asked myself. The answer is not hard to find but why are we not further exploring the opportunities that Driekoppies Dam provide? The dam’s precincts could be developed into a world-class tourist destination but who bears the responsibility of ensuring that this materializes. In its present state the dam is of limited commercial value and the communities bordering it continue to be referred to as impoverished.
Bring the guest houses, the hotels, the cinemas and a variety of franchises and levels of unemployment will shrink. I do lack an engineer’s sense but I am convinced that the proximity of the dam to the Matsamo border gate, the steeped-in-history Shongwe hospital and the Matsamo plaza is an ingredient for a successful tourist destination.
Add to that the landmark areas that complete Swaziland’s civil war history. The communities in and around Emalahleni benefit from the Witbank Dam which has become synonymous with topnotch entertainment activities and what stops us from turning our own crown jewel, the Driekoppies Dam, into a viable commercial entity? See? Already you are nodding but I have not said anything about the fact that Nkomazi boasts the biggest land claim in the country’s land restitution history.
I have also not mentioned the fact that we are probably the only sub-region in the whole province that boasts not one but two sugar mills. Is it not about time for us to take stock of what we can do to turn the sub-region around with its uniqueness and latent potential?
We need to create a database of those features and qualities that define Nkomazi and I am sure it will emerge that ours is a sub-region steeped in history. We oscillate with relevant ease between the good, the bad, the ugly and the ridiculous that has seen the finger of world communities pointing at our apparent complicity in the death of Moises Samora Machel. All these being qualities of what Hollywood movies are made of.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2009 10:31|