Dannhauser is situated within a tourism node, it has a heritage that needs to be preserved and also tapped into by the business sector. It is along the “Battle Fields” which draws both domestic and foreign tourists and has resort areas where tourists can come and enjoy. It has wetlands and foot-trails that have not been experienced by visitors. The municipality has now initiated the development of its tourism sector. Its main challenge is sourcing funds to develop this sector, through infrastructure development both public and economic. Although it has draft Tourism Strategy adopted in 2017, a lot needs to be undertaken to ensure that the tourism concept becomes actualisation. The municipality is aiding the community members to formulate a “Community Tourism Organisation (CTO)” which will be party to the tourism activities within the municipal jurisdiction. SMMEs and Co-operatives on the municipal database have been identified for empowering within this sector, women and the youth will impact positively through this initiative.
The municipality is situated 133,3km from Okhahlamba municipality which has the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists. President Cyril Ramaphosa in his “State of the Nation Address – 2018”; stated that; “Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities to, quite literally, shine. Tourism currently sustains 700,000 direct jobs and is performing better than most other growth sectors. There is no reason why it can’t double in size. We have the most beautiful country in the world and the most hospitable people. This year, we will enhance support for destination marketing in key tourism markets and take further measures to reduce regulatory barriers and develop emerging tourism businesses.”
The strategic development of tourism within the municipality is given guidance by the National Development Plan 2030; the Provincial Development and Growth Strategy – 2035, Amajuba District Development & Growth Strategy 2030; the Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy; the White Paper on Tourism, and other economic policies and strategy documents. Guidance of developing this sector is being obtained from the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA) – KZN and various sector support departments. Based on strategic objectives set by the DEDTEA, Dannhauser has adopted the following;
- Develop and transform the tourism sector to achieve destination competitiveness.
- To develop and fund the implementation of tourism sector specific products.
- To enhance the contribution of tourism to the KZN economy.
- To implement interventions that drive transformation, diversification and service excellence in the tourism sector.
- To foster strategic linkages (tourism corridors, leverage infrastructure development strategy).
- To promote responsible tourism practices and champion tourism response to climate change.
According to the “Draft Tourism Strategy – 23 May 2017”; Dannhauser’s tourism fundamental principles are;
Promote balance between social, environmental and economic factors (i.e. triple bottom line);
Promote empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities to become part of decision making and retrieve benefits
Acknowledge that the tourism industry can only be developed to its full potential when all stakeholders work together, particularly the public and private sector
Encourage development outside of urban areas
Education and Skills Development
Support SMME's / Co-operatives & Informal Traders
Dannhauser Tourism Products
The municipality has identified tourism as a potential economic sector, although no major tourism activities are currently being undertaken, there are biological, heritage and historical assets that exist within the jurisdiction..
A Tourism Plan for Amajuba District (ATP) has been developed as a sector plan as part of the district IDP. There are specific opportunities for tourism in Dannhauser based on the natural attractions of the area, including the Ntshingwayo dam and Chelmsford Nature Reserve, closeness to the battlefields, outdoor adventures and other cultural attractions. The ATP aims to unlock the tourism potential of the Amajuba District to the benefit of all its inhabitants, in particular creating economic opportunities for previously disadvantaged communities. Investors have identified structures in Durnacol that were left by the Durnacol mine and initiated a process of converting the structures to a recreation area that will consist of the conference centre, playing area (with a pool) for both for children and adults.
The current product offerings have been identified with the municipal Draft Tourism Strategy, although being mentioned below, it is important to note that, they have not yet been exploited to develop the desired investment inflows due to the none marketing and capital investment in this sector of the local economy; they are as follows;
- Chelmsford Nature Reserve;
- St Margaret’s Presbyterian church;
- Tom Worthington Dam;
- Bonani Wild and Wonderful;
- Ntshingwayo Dam; and
- Lack of major international tourists’ attractions;
- Lack of enough individual attractions to keep tourists occupied during their stay in the area;
- Dannhauser is not located along a major tourism route;
- Poor signage from main routes, and
- Lack of greater institutional support and capital investment from the municipality.
- Development of a municipal Tourism Strategy;
- Establishment of CTOs;
- Development of SMME’s;
- Skills development and training;
- Protection of environmentally sensitive areas;
- Enhancement of arts and crafts (historical, cultural and agricultural inspired);
- Specific events such as festivals and sporting events with existing dams; and
- Establishment of aquaculture projects.