South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) has announced the launch of the Gamalakhe Township Experience for those looking to explore history, culture and outdoor adventure on the KZN South Coast’s latest tourism offering.
At the launch on October 20, SCTIE CEO Phelisa Mangcu said Gamalakhe was a township with a rich history that included the sad reality of forced removals, as well as the story of the people’s tenacity and the wonderful traditions that had emerged.
“It’s important for us to retain this history while expanding our incredible township tourism offerings to benefit our local communities and visitors,” said Mangcu.
Gamalakhe Township, less than 10km from Margate and Shelly Beach, is believed to have started in the 1880s, when Norwegian settlers drove communities from their land.
In the 1950s, during the apartheid government’s forced removals, the township grew as black residents were driven inland from the coast. The township has developed over the years and is now home to a hospital, police station, schools, a shopping centre and more.
SCTIE said the Gamalakhe Township Experience included a visit to Tin Town, the oldest part of the township, where Mama Smangele Memela was forcibly removed from her home in Port Shepstone town centre in 1968 aged 12, and currently resides.
Memela shares her experience, taking visitors along her journey into a democratic South Africa.
“More than just a lesson in the rich history, visitors will enjoy a Kasified Experience, an authentic township experience within Gamalakhe.
“This includes visiting local taverns, car spinning shows, outdoor cinema, quad biking, paintball, and more. Visitors can enjoy delicious shisanyama and other local favourites at Sbucie’s Kitchen such as township kotas, burgers, and chips.”
The township experience also included a hike from Gamalakhe, crossing the Vungu River and hiking along the Mjika River for nature enthusiasts. An experienced guide would take visitors on a journey of the captivating birdlife and scenery.
Mangcu said Gamalakhe was being positioned to hold conferences, sports contests and festivals.
“Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre is at the entrance of the township and it consists of conference and function venues as well as sports facilities.
“The TVET College, which has a hospitality and tourism unit, includes rooms to accommodate outside guests and there are also local guest houses with self-catering options. There is a lot of tourism potential being unlocked here.”