Bid to revive ailing businesses in Langa

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Sep 16, 2021

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Okuhle Hlati

NOMASA’s Guest House in Langa has kept its doors open despite the economic battering of the pandemic, because of a woman who was adamant about keeping her mother’s dream alive.

The business is one of many in the tourism sector that have been hit hard over the past 18 months.

In efforts to revive tourism in the city, especially this tourism month, Cape Town Tourism, working with the City of Cape Town, hosted inclusive tourism kasi-style in Langa yesterday. At the even, local entrepreneurs including Nomasa’s Guest House and Jordan Ways of Cooking, got to share their experiences.

The guest house, which is still struggling to survive, hopes that with the move to lockdown Level 2 and the approach of summer, they will generate some income.

Guest house owner Ncumisa Ndlakuhlolo said it was her mother’s vision to turn her home into a guest house offering a township stay.

“My mother also wanted to share the rich history we have in the area but (suffered) a stroke before she could turn the vision into reality. At that stage I had a very demanding job and thought it would be impossible for me to start the business. However, I decided to give it a try and it was launched in 2008. My mother passed away in 2010.”

Ndlakuhlolo decided to take on the business full time.

“Initially the business operated at a slow pace but picked up and was doing well. Six months after the Covid-19 lockdown, the business was dead. We were one of the businesses that applied for relief but nothing came. I used all (my) savings because I couldn’t let my mother’s dream die and as a result we are still in debt,” she said.

Jordan Ways of Cooking owner Ntlalo Jordan said the event hosted yesterday would help give the business exposure and remind people they were still operating and needed support.

“I had to think out of the box and sustain the business so we moved online, did takeaways and deliveries,” he said.

Mayco member of economic opportunities and tourism James Vos said initiatives that were part of a strategy to revive the sector included amplifying community tourism to show the diversity, cuisine and cultures in the city.

“The city will also be providing businesses with a neighbourhood experience development training manual to help guide SMMEs through developing their operations and to encourage neighbourhood readiness for when travellers return," said Vos.

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said they had launched domestic tourism campaigns this month.

“The first campaign is Pocket-friendly Cape Town – we target local tourists by highlighting affordability of products and services; and the second is 50 Things To Do In Cape Town For Under R50. The intention of these two campaigns is to showcase Cape Town and that it’s affordable at any budget.”

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