Eric Kholwane praises Mpumalanga winners of Lilizela awards

MEC for economic development and tourism Skhumbuzo Eric Kholwane. PICTURE BY MfisoDIGITAL

The MEC of economic development in Mpumalanga has thrown heaps of praise on all those Mpumalanga winners of the 2016 Lilizela awards.

The award giving event of this year’s Lilizela awards was held at the Sandton convention centre a few days ago and Kholwane thanked all those individuals and businesses that represented the province at the tourism recognition awards ceremony at the Gauteng convention centre.

The awards are given yearly by Tourism minister Derek Hanekom;s department to recognise those who play major role in promoting the tourism industry.

Among those praised by Kholwane were gogo Esther Mahlangu (81) of worldwide Ndebele art fame and Nomsa Mazibuko of Visit Vakasha guesthouses in eMalahleni.

The economic development MEC said: “We congratulate the six tourism product owners from our beautiful province who were recognised for the sterling work they continue to do in promoting tourism in our province.

They are our shinning stars and ambassadors of our tourism industry. Well done to them. We are proud of them”.

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Mahlangu, from Middelburg, scooped the 2016 Minister’s Award and eMalahleni’s Mazibuko for her successful guesthouse business in the area.

Others who scooped the awards at the Lilizela ceremony were owners of Loerie’s Call Guest House in Mbombela, owners of Jock Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park, owners of the Ingwenyama Conference and Sport Resort in Mbombela as well as owners of the Inyati Game Lodge.

Kholwane said these contributors in the development of the tourism industry in the province were “ambassadors of the province given that their acts and behaviour symbolise what tourists can expect from the province”.

Awards are categorised into the Minister’s Award, Visitors Experience of the year, Accommodation, B-BBEE, ETEYA, Tour Operators, Tourism Guides and Universal Accessibility.

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On gogo Esther who is quite prominent internationally for her skills in decorating Ndebele arts, Kholwane said: “Our special congratulatory message goes to uMma Esther Mahlangu, who received the 2016 Minister’s Award, for continuing to promote the Ndebele culture through her artistic work which continues to be recognised internationally. We thank her for continuing to be our ambassador”.

(edited by MLM)

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