Please see attached article from KZN’s ‘The Independent’ newspaper on a Case Study of Community Based Sport Tourism in KZN which is supported by a German organization which encourages Germans to ‘volunteer’ services for the local community.
CDI INTERNATIONAL (Community Development Initiatives International) is a global network of inspired people, driven by passion to develop communities through partnerships in Tourism, Sport, Education, Business & Trade
These are the types of Projects which CDI International (Community Development Initiatives International) supports and is involved in – CDI International’s ‘Our Community, Our Business’ Programme looks at culture, heritage, arts and sport as catalysts for community development driven by Tourism.
Taking opportunity to the countryside
An action-sports centre could be a catalyst for jobs and growth in a small KZN Village
ISITHUMBA mountain, which stands guard over a sprawling village next to the uMgeni River in the Valley of 1 000 Hills, will soon be well known to locals and tourists alike.
The Zulu tribal village, which takes its name from the majestic mountain, is 45 minutes from Durban and, with no 4×4 needed to travel there, is receiving special focus as part of the Durban Green Corridor programme and from the Sportgarten (Sports Garden) organisation from Germany.
Some local people will be groomed to lead tour groups in canoeing, rock climbing and other activities, and others will find jobs in the accommodation and catering industries.
It is an idyllic setting. Thatched rondavels, cows drinking water in the middle of the river and goats crossing the road paint a pretty scene welcoming tourists who want a Zulu village experience.
Gary Cullen, project manager for the Durban Green Corridor, said that the location was ideal for growing water sports and other adventure activities as part of the eThekwini Municipality’s greening programme.
The Green Corridor Programme is taking over a neglected adventure centre that was established in iSithumba a few years ago.
“The municipality is picking it up to re-establish it as a place for tourism in the area,” Cullen said. “The main objective is to use the naturally beautiful location to establish adventure sport activities in the area.” Trail running, mountain biking, bird watching, rock climbing and canoeing are some of the sports or interests that are envisaged for the area.
Work is already in progress for the centre to be renovated and transformed into an accommodation and adventure sports facility.
The site at iSithumba is one of three that the Durban Green Corridor has adopted to promote environmental education, water sports, tourism and employment along the uMgeni River. Inanda Dam and the Green Hub at Blue Lagoon are the other two, with water sports and youth programmes having been started.
At iSithumba, however, the local youth have benefited from the presence of German volunteers who have come to the area as part of the municipality’s Sister Cities Partnership. Volunteers and athletes from the city of Bremen have been visiting iSithumba for a number of years under the Sportgarten programme, teaching local children about different sporting codes.
Sportgarten is an organization in Germany that promotes sports among the youth. Players from Bremen’s under-19 soccer teams as well as athletes from the Bremen Track and Field Association have come to the area to share their skills with the locals.
Birgit Rix, one of the volunteers from Germany, who has been with iSithumba for about three months, said they ran the sporting programmes with children six days a week and would be involved in teaching them about the different water sports. “This is a social programme with sport as a focus,” Rix said.
Such partnerships could mean a better future, with more job opportunities. Jeffrey Buthelezi, one of the local guides, said that the initiative to re-establish the adventure centre was good for the community. “This area needs more jobs and the people would be able to work in the chalets in catering and cleaning, and the children would be able to learn about water sports,” he said.
Buthelezi leads groups up the mountain, along a zigzag path, which he said offered a great view of the Valley of 1 000 Hills. “Once people go up there they can see the valley and the uMgeni River. It is a beautiful spot for tourists,” he said.
For information on Community Tourism as a ‘driver’ of Local Economic Development and Community Development, contact Don at CDI INTERNATIONAL or at THSBS (www.thsbs.com)