Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom unveiled the new Iconic Map of Africa at the Africa's most southern tip in Cape Agulhas and has big hope to what it can bring to the community in terms of socio-economic upliftment. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - The unveiling of the map of Africa monument at Cape Agulhas is expected to further boost the economy in South Africa and the entire African continent.

So said Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom when unveiling the monument at the southernmost tip of the African continent.

According to SA National Parks, the monument is expected to attract more tourists to the area because of its geographic, spiritual, cultural and historical significance, “not only locally but also globally”.

The landmark monument cost just over R14million, funded by the department of tourism and SANParks.

It has a path that leads through a needle-like element compass towards the existing beacon.

The sculpture consists of a low walked circle representing a compass. The 20m to 30m circumference represents the primary point of the compass.

The event was attended by members of the public and officials from SANParks.

The southernmost tip is where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.

The monument is 1.8m from north to south.

Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom unveiled the new Iconic Map of Africa at Africa's most southern tip in Cape Agulhas and has big hope to what it can bring to the community in terms of socio-economic upliftment. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

The raised profile is hand-crafted from reinforced concrete and stained metal powders to achieve oxidised colour and texture.

“We are hoping to see more tourists coming to the country. The map is here to tell the story of the beautiful Alguhas and Africa.

“People want to see authentic symbols like this map and Robben Island. There are already 7million tourists visiting the country and the number is expected to rise because of the map.

Speaking on a different but related topic, the minister said there had been a decline in rhino poaching in the past few months but he urged members of the public to intensify the fight against abalone poaching.

“Abalone and crayfish poachers are no less criminals that the rhino poachers. Eighty percent of rhinos are found here is South Africa.

“Although rhino poaching is on the decline we need to protect tourism and adopt socio-responsible and diversity tourism.

“The SANParks needs to train people to speak Mandarin to welcome Chinese tourists visiting our shores” he said.

SANParks chief executive Fundisile Mketeni said the map was a unifying factor for all African countries.

“The southernmost tip and Cape Agulhas are unique because it is also home to the second-largest lighthouse in South Africa.

During the ceremony, Hanekom spoke of the high hopes he had for the local community in terms of socio-economic upliftment. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
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