Despite the country’s long history of inequality, South Africa has continued to strive to balance these inequalities by nurturing and growing economies even in previously disadvantaged areas, such as townships.
Gauteng townships in particular houses the bulk of the strong 15 and half million residents of the province with many still longing for economic freedom. This economic freedom can be realized if the spatial patterns of human settlement and business can be changed to accommodate previously disadvantaged communities and the mainstreaming of township economy.
With the unbelievable talent, creative energy, style, determination and authentic experiences, townships like Mamelodi can sing all the way to the highest echelons of the business events sector. A thriving event’s city region is built on a strong cultural and authentic experience offering, availability of quality events hosting infrastructure, talent, human capital, and a pool of collaborative infrastructure to name but a few.
The sprawling township of Mamelodi in the city of Tshwane is one of Gauteng’s best kept cultural pilgrimage zone. It is the home of the HM Pitjie Stadium, Solomon Mahlangu Memorial, the famous Tsweu Street, and jazz joint Jack Budda.
With its energy, lingo and style, the township is now integrating this unique offering into its business events and tourism development work. With Gauteng contributing over 33% into the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), townships within this province play an important role in economic recovery. This role is however not translating into direct benefits for thousands of unemployed youth housed in these townships. Adjacent metropolitan areas continue to enjoy the lion share of the business events sector with major meetings, conferences evens and exhibitions hosted there.
Through the coordination and stewardship of the Gauteng Convention & Events Bureau and the Tshwane Convention Bureau, efforts are underway to utilise fully events venues like Moretele Park, The Village and TUT Mamelodi campus as primary sites for hosting quality business events and leveraging of the impressive array of leisure offerings found in this townships.
Meetings Africa 2023 serves as the perfect platform to socialise, package, and present this transformative approach to global corporate buyers, meetings planners, incentives travel buyers, national, regional and international media and business events practitioners in line with the province’s drive to mainstream townships, hostels and informal settlements into the core offerings.
Dynamic, productive and creative townships such as Mamelodi are a hub of inspiration. Many businesses have taken to various venues in Mamelodi as places fit for business functions. Often overlooked, these venues offer reliable facilities that are also rich in history and authenticity. These are a great way to mix business with pleasure, after all, a visit to Gauteng is incomplete without the township experience.