DR JS MOROKA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY HERITAGE
The historical and cultural heritage of DR JS Moroka Local Municipality has a huge potential to be packaged and marketed more strongly in order to boost the tourism industry. The DR JS Moroka Local Municipality had historically formed part of both the Bophuthatswana and KwaNdebele homelands and was also a ‘human dumping’ ground for victims of forced removals. The two major language groups in the region are the SeTswana and IsiNdebele speakers, while the SePedi speakers are a minority. There is also anti-apartheid struggle history, especially for communities falling under the Mangope regime in Bophuthatswana and also the 1985/86 Imbokodo revolt in the former KwaNdebele homeland.
The IsiNdebele people are warm and well known for their bright and colourful huts, cultural garb and excellent arts and crafts, they are also a form of communication as they represent feelings and emotions.
The significant cultural heritage sites in the municipality include ethnic art; royal tribal; religious and struggle history sites while the priority sites in the municipality are regarded as the:
- Tree in Siyabuswa (struggle history)
- Loding Royal graves and cattle kraal
- Ikageng school in Marapyane
There are also places such as Nzundza Mabhoko Royal Kraal, Mthambothini Royal Residence.
There are a number of tourism businesses attractive within the craft sector. These comprise of a few internationally known crafters such as Dr Esther Mahlangu, Esther Mnguni, and Francina Ndimande.
There are also approximately 50 unregistered beading co-operatives. The Sozama Ndebele Crafts and also the DR JS Moroka Art, Craft and Tourism Information Centre are sites for collective production and marketing. A number of guest houses have been established in DR JS Moroka Local Municipality, such as: Sizivusile; the icon Esther Mahlangu Guest House; Mkholwane Lodge; Kwa-Mahlangu Guest House; 304 and Dikolobe Guest House and the guesthouse of the arts and crafts Ndebele Foundation.
In the provincial strategy, two catalystic projects are proposed. The second is the creation of a mega-tourism destination through the consolidation of various smaller destinations into one consolidated product aimed at attracting the Gauteng weekend market. Reserves to be consolidated are the Mkhombo Reserve, the SS Skhosana Nature Reserve and the Mdala Nature Reserve. This may offer opportunities to develop a conservation or eco-tourism base.