Mbombela, The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mpumalanga Provincial House of Traditional Leaders with the aim of establishing and maintaining areas of collaboration between the two parties. This is in line with the entities respective legislative mandates especially in the tourism and the management of nature conservation.

The MOU serves to enhance and strengthen the ties between the two parties. Both parties recognize that the tourism industry has the potential of being a catalyst for significant economic growth and development of rural communities within Mpumalanga with the potential of broadening the participation of previously disadvantaged individuals and communities in the tourism and conservation sectors. This will ultimately improve the quality of life of every citizen of the province.

“We are excited to have signed this MOU today as it aims to enhance our relationship with the House of Traditional Leaders who are the custodians of land in the traditional communities in the province. Our intention is to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector in Mpumalanga and aspire to accomplish the targets set out in the Five-year (5) Strategy and the adopted Tourism Sector Recovery Plan for the province,” said Mr Victor Mashego, Chairperson of the MTPA Board.

“We are committed to meaningfully contribute to the promotion of ecotourism and the sustainable management of the natural resources in Mpumalanga. This partnership will assist with the economic development and ultimately provide an enabling and inclusive economy that facilitates entry and participation in these two sectors, especially by the previously disadvantaged individuals and communities,” added Mashego.

“The signing of this MOU presents us with an opportunity to work together to develop and empower our communities. It also offers us an opportunity to utilize our natural resources to fight hunger, deprivation and poverty afflicting our people in the countryside. This cooperation will help with the development of tourism in our communities and by facilitating collaborative and cooperative initiatives in the tourism and conservation sectors that seek to promote the livelihood of our people,” said Inkosi Sandile Ngomane, Chairperson of the Mpumalanga Provincial House of Traditional Leaders.

“We look forward to a collective participation in tourism events, which may be organized both domestically and internationally, particularly with our neighbors of Eswatini and Mozambique with the aim of positioning Mpumalanga as a preferred tourism destination. The interaction with the private sector as a critical stakeholder will further provide us with an opportunity to pursue available investment opportunities to develop tourism in the province,” added Inkosi Ngomane.

The duration of this MOU shall initially be for a period of five (5) years with an option for renewal for another additional period of five (5) years on such revised terms and conditions as agreed upon by both parties.

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