Government said it is bullish about tourism growth in Selebi-Phikwe as the only revenue earner BCL will at some stage cease operations.
Speaking at a recent World Tourism Day, Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, pointed out that tourism support infrastructure within the region is generally good and supportive of the industry.
He said of Selebi-Phikwe hosting the globally celebrated industry day: “This is in recognition that a lot of potential exists in the town and its environments, through a range of tourism and leisure projects,” he stated.
The 2009 visitor survey has revealed that out of an estimated total of 1.5 million tourist arrivals, 2.2 percent or 34 000 tourists visited Selebi-Phikwe as part of their trip.
Selebi-Phikwe and its surroundings boasts of 42 tourism facilities such as hotels and guesthouses; 26 lodges and camps, 2 mobile safaris and 2 travel agencies and it has less known ruins and rock paintings.
“The tourism support infrastructure within the region is generally good and supportive of tourism.”
He added that a good number of tourism development incentives exist in the region, most of which involve local community projects.
One such project is MOLEMA Project consisting of villages of Motlhabaneng, Lepokole and Mathathane.
SelebiÔÇôPhikwe tourism promotion is spearheaded by Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU). Already, sites like Letsibogo Dam, as well as other heritage/historical and archaeological sites have been identified as tourist attractions.
The town faces closure and migration if nothing tangible is found in the next 7 years when the mine life matures.
Montwedi Mphathi, BCL General Manager, recently put smiles on the people of the area when he revealed that geology has shown that copper and nickel could be mined until the year 2020.
“We want to extend to 2020 and we now have to deliver on that promise. Now I am more bullish,” he said, adding that diversification hinges on BCL continuing as a torch bearer.
To date an estimated total 31.5 million tonnes at 0.57 percent nickel and 0.57 percent copper have been discovered within the concession area.
A scoping study to access economic viability of the new find has been completed and came out positive paving way for the miner to progress with pre-feasibility study.