The Iconic Map of Africa Monument has been unveiled at the Southernmost tip of Africa in the Agulhas National Park in the Southern Overberg region of the Western Cape.
The map pays homage to the mighty African continent and boasts a circumference of 30 metres.
The Iconic Map of Africa Monument was commissioned and developed at the Agulhas National Park by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with South African National Parks (SANParks) to enhance the visitor experience and boost the local tourism economy.
The Southernmost Tip of Africa personifies a quiet sense of calm. The monument design shows the direction of the compass and includes representation of several African landmarks, according to the Department of Tourism.
It also lends itself to walking meditation or quiet contemplation while visitors admire the confluence of the two mighty oceans – the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
“South Africa’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage found in our national parks are key tourism drawcards. We can only enhance these amazing tourism offerings by adding features like the Iconic Map of Africa Monument to deliver memorable experiences to our visitors and ensure many happy returns,” Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said in his address on Tuesday.
“The funding and supporting of infrastructure development projects are particularly important to us – it enables us to fulfil our mandate of creating inclusive economic opportunities for our people. Remember, through these initiatives, people get jobs and local SMMEs also generate income from the services they render.
“All South Africans should desire tourism growth as it translates into economic growth, jobs and opportunities for many,” said the Minister.
During the year-long construction of the R15 million project, employment was provided for 79 local community members and involved 7 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
The project also included the construction of a 1km road, re-alignment of the boardwalk and rehabilitation of the terrain. The construction presented training opportunities to beneficiaries in different skills programmes such as painting, plumbing, tiling and plastering demonstrating the broad benefits of tourism and community beneficiation.
“Tourism is an industry that can readily deliver the jobs and sustainable economic growth that our country so urgently needs. Through partnerships and collaboration of this nature, we are able to ensure the sustainability of the sector’s growth,” said Minister Hanekom.
Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni, said the monument marks the geographical and spiritual significance of the Southernmost Tip of Africa to enhance the status of the area as a prime national and international tourist destination.
“We have earmarked this park in our tourism growth strategy as a necessary vehicle particularly in attracting visitors to this part of the world,” Mketeni said.
Phase two of the project, due to commence in April 2019 and will be the development of Lighthouse Precinct Project which will include construction of a conference facility, a restaurant, interpretive centre, paving and walkways.