Marula a drawcard

Feb 25, 2014

The annual Limpopo Marula Festival started at the weekend in Phalaborwa and will end on Saturday.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has hailed the festival as an excellent catalyst for local economic development.

“The direct and indirect economic benefits created by the festival makes it a perfect fit for our objective of using the arts, culture and heritage to create jobs and grow the economy, Mashatile said.

“This fine festival benefits airlines, car rental companies, tour operators, hotels and lodges, restaurants and retailers as well as communities who gather and brew the marula fruit,” he said .

“All of these sectors experience a significant rise in the demand for their goods and services during the festival and we are all excited about it,” he said.

Department of Arts and Culture spokesperson Mack Lewele said the festival is also part of the government’s prioritisation of rural development.

“The festival is very popular and has attracted more than 30000 revellers from most parts of the country, including South Africa’s neighbouring countries.

The town of Phalaborwa has been chosen as the permanent home of the festival because of its tourism profile and proximity to other major tourist destinations, including the Kruger National Park within the Great Limpopo Trans-frontier Park which includes Mozambique and Zimbabwe,” he said.

“The festival offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the marula fruit, the brewing process and the exciting part of tasting marula drinks – as well as enterprises showcasing products made from the marula fruit.

“There are many other activities that add extra dimensions to the festival including tourism products and services, two music concerts, arts, crafts and sport,” Limpopo Tourism Agency spokesperson Mike Tauatsoala said.

Some of the artists billed for the festival include DJ Ganyane, DJ Oskido, Uhuru, Professor, DJ Brian, Magubane De’ Franchise, Stimela, Ringo, Joe Shirimani, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Worship House, General Muzka and many others.

The week-long festival is a joint collaboration between the Limpopo provincial government and the Department of Arts and Culture, the main sponsor.

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