NDLAMBE municipal officials and councillors were conspicuously absent when it came to attending the Tourism Capacity Planning conference, held at the Royal St Andrews Hotel last week, despite other municipalities, including the two metros, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay being represented in significant numbers.
The conference took place on Thursday and Friday last week and representatives from the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Dedeat) and the Government Technical Advisory Centre (Gtac) attended the meeting to help with governmental interventions, if and where required. Together with the two metros’ representatives, the bulk of the attendees came from Eastern Cape municipalities including Sarah Baartman District, Kouga, Sundays River, Makana and others.
With stakeholders such as travel agents, hoteliers and owners of guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments, the conference spanned most aspects of tourism in the area.
Ndlambe mayor Phindile Faxi was scheduled to attend the meeting to give the opening address, but Ward 10 councillor Ray Schenk was sent in his place. It appears that Faxi and the municipal administration were all involved in a budget meeting and in defending a high court action so couldn’t attend the event. Yet, despite a late apology from Faxi, the absence of Ndlambe officials gave an impression that the municipality was not interested in the important event.