Executive Mayor of Ehlanzeni District Municipality Cllr. J Sidell was born in Mbombela at Kabokweni. She did her primary education at Victory Park Primary School. She then proceeded to Middleburg Combined School where she completed her secondary education. Her tertiary qualifications include among others a diploma in Advanced Municipal Governance from University of Johannesburg, a Project Management course from Wits University as well as an Executive Leadership programme from the University of Pretoria She has extensive experience as an Administrator and Technocrat. She worked for the Department of Health and Social Development as well as the Department of Human Settlement as an Assistant Director and eventually Acting Director responsible for the Human Settlement Ms Sidell is a seasoned politician with vast experience in serving the people. She served in a number of ANC structures as well as Union structures. She is currently the Regional Secretary of Ehlanzeni ANC Women’s League. Her role in second term Local Government started in 2000 where she was elected as a PR Councillor both in Mbombela Local Municipality and Ehlanzeni District Municipality. Eventually she was elected as a speaker of Mbombela Local Municipality from 2011 -
During the Annual Swaziland International Trade Fair held at Mavuso Exhibition Centre in Manzini, Ehlanzeni District Municipality (EDM) had an opportunity to showcase the best of the district’s tourist attractions. This marketing drive took place from 26 August to 05 September 2016. EDM together with its local municipalities boasted of colorful stands with relevant information on tourism attractions of Ehlanzeni.
The resounding appeal of EDM was not only heard by the Swazi people who converged at our exhibition stand but by people of substance who came from many other African countries who were attending the Southern Africa Development Countries (SADC) conference.
MMC for LED, Tourism and Rural Development Cllr Butinyana Mokoena interacted with everyone who visited the stand. He stated that the presence of Ehlanzeni marks South Africa’s intention of not only developing itself economically but also our regional neighbors like Swaziland and Mozambique.
”The important and basic thing is to showcase our tourism attractions which we are very proud of. We are using this exhibition as an economic platform and we also want to forge working relationships with other countries” said Cllr Mokoena.
EDM exhibition stand attracted hundreds of local people and viewers who were thirsty for information. The team from EDM, Nkomazi and Mbombela Local Municipalities played a pivotal role in encouraging people to visit Ehlanzeni. They also handed out the Z-
We had a range of promotional materials like pens, rulers, fancy aluminum water bottles, nail care kits, selfie sticks for taking pictures and many more which we handed out to people who came to visit the stands. At Mavuso Exhibition Centre EDM had an opportunity to showcase tourism destinations like the Kruger National Park with its Big Five, God’s Window, the Potholes and the Sudwala Caves, among others and as well as a wide range of accommodation facilities which includes high standard hotels, lodges and guest houses. Without any doubts all Mbombela local municipality’s products were marketed vigorously to the continent.
Viewers were also educated about the do’s and dont’s when travelling around the district. They were told to keep necessary traveling document and make use of tour guides for a safe and enjoyable journey. It was also emphasized that reliable travelling arrangements are key. The stand was also crowded by young students who have an interest in tourism studies. They were advised on subjects to take in preparation for their tertiary studies on tourism.
One visitor to the exhibition stand called Mr Moses Mkhwanazi promised to keep the material given to him because he loves Mpumalanga and will soon visit our district. ”I have heard of the Panorama Route in Graskop therefore we will be visiting that place in December. The map, which is simple to use will be of much assistance when touring your area. I have already made bookings to avoid disappointments. From the look of things we are going to have a good time“, said Mr. Mkhwanazi.
A viewer on the exhibition stand Ms. Nokuthula Shongwe enquired about the Mariepskop and said “I heard that Mariepskop is one of the most interesting places to visit. I have picture cuttings of the place which displays an open Air Force military base and very beautiful picnic vegetation with a breathtaking view”. She indicated that her daughter wants to work in the army next year when she completes her matric at the end of this year 2016. “I will make it a point that we visit the place soon. I am also convinced that we will get the best accommodation because I can see on your brochures that you have the best accommodation around there”, she said. She promised to take a turn at the Kruger National Park and will be eager to take a tour with the game rangers maybe they can be lucky to see the Big 5”.
Viewers were advised to make early bookings for the festive season. “It is always wise to book early especially during December holidays. Tourists come as far as overseas to visit. We wish that you come and visit our place since Mpumalanga is the place of the rising sun. Come and feel the warmth of our place and the people” said Mr Nathi Masango from EDM.
Among other visitors was a team of veterinarians of who had interest in visiting the Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park which is within the jurisdiction of district. They also received pamphlets with a collection of various snakes like cobras, rattlesnakes, mambas, iguanas and many more. Dr Vandan Hefer from the Netherlands was very keen about accommodation in the township which was interesting to note given the fact that there were very few people who ever enquired about same in the past. The veterinarians insisted that they would love to visit as a family, but they are interested in staying in the township or in a village which means they would prefer to use all what the incumbent families are using and eating to experience.
“I think that it can be fun to be accommodated in a shack where water is drawn from the tap outside or if there is a river nearby where we can go and swim. We also want to have African food”, said Dr Hefer. We arrived here in Swaziland last week already and our tour guide introduced us to African cuisine and since then I hardly eat in the hotel and I enjoy the food” he concluded.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland Honorable Paul Dlamini and some of King Mswati III’s wives also visited EDM stand. They were impressed by the beauty of the stand and posed for a photograph with our staff.
Mr Joseph Ngala, the Spokesperson for Mbombela City welcomed the Royalty and explained to them that the country is one of the best and fastest growing destinations in the world. He said by coming to Swaziland each year is one of the best ways of promoting and encouraging the whole tourism industry to maintain world-