Johannesburg - The City of Ekurhuleni is set to become a major tourist destination.
Among the plans are the revamp of the Germiston Lake precinct and the establishment of a Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) museum.
Sibusiso Dlamini, divisional head of city planning, said the revamp for the lake was unusual as it mixed residential, office and factory areas.
Currently the lake has been fenced off for security reasons, but Dlamini said the plan was to make it safe for people.
“This is the jewel of the Germiston area. We want to see it opened up for all to enjoy with restaurants, picnic spots and good sidewalks for walking, running and cycling. A conference centre is also being planned,” he said.
This would unlock a ripple effect to both the Germiston CBD and the civic precinct, he said, with an upgrade of the station planned.
“The station is old and run-down and has reached its time.
“It will eventually link all parts of Ekurhuleni and will be linked with the new bus rapid transit routes,” he said.
The city has over 200 water bodies, golfing facilities and Art Deco buildings.
Speaking at a two-day tourism conference held earlier this month, finance and economic development member of the mayoral committee Doctor Xhakaza said it was time Ekurhuleni’s tourism potential was realised.
He said his department had developed a strategy for the next five years, which would see development of the tourism infrastructure.
In line with the strategy, a sum of R10-million has been allocated for the 2016/17 financial year to create a tourism hub in Khumalo Street, Thokoza.
“The development of Khumalo Street is part of the broader township revitalisation plan.
“The objective is to turn the once-notorious street into a tourism destination of choice,” said Xhakaza.
Among key tourism attractions outlined in the strategy is the establishment of a visitor information centre at OR Tambo International Airport.
The development of the Codesa museum will give visitors an account of the negotiations which took place in Kempton Park to pave the way for the democratic regime.
“These interventions are aimed at making Ekurhuleni globally known and ensuring that we strengthen the development of our local products, improve citizens' standard of living and also strengthen our local businesses in order to alleviate unemployment and attract tourists to the city,” Xhakaza said.
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