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In the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ Spatial Planning Guidelines for the Promotion of Local Income Circulation (KZN DCoGTA, July 2009c), Reynolds observes that “... there is no cash circulation” in many of the marginalised rural economies and the townships of South Africa. The said guideline further illustrates the fact that the rural economies are often “cash deserts” where already nominal incomes do not circulate or remain in the need areas, but rather gets spent and circulated within the nearest town centre towards its economic growth, rather than localised domestic benefit.
Although no specific input/output tables are available for the Ezinqoleni area to determine the exact extent of local income circulation, the marginal income levels, high social grant dependencies and lack of local economic markets suggest that the same tendency of cash outflow is occurring within the Ezinqoleni region and should be countered where possible.
The economic base of Ezinqoleni consists of the following:
- Commercial agriculture – production of sugar-cane, tea and macadamia nuts.
- Eco-tourism: due to pristine natural environment.
- An economic opportunity which is currently underutilised can includes a combination of the two resources in order to create a combined product marketable to the province. Such initiatives can inter alia include:
- The development of a tourist market for trading in local goods. This can includes an arts and crafts training centre and confectionary shop.
- Promoting the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve and development of activities/enterprises related to eco-tourism. E.g. catering.
- Developing an eco-tourism trail.
- Capitalising on agri-tourism i.e.Tea Farm tours showcasing the process of tea production and processing.
- Beneficiation of local products to distribute processed produce at higher profit margins.
Combination of the above initiatives can lead to the development of business hives in nodal areas such as Nqabeni and Oribi Gorge with the focus on, juice making, baking. The development of irrigation schemes along the Mtamvuna River for community gardens should also be explored.
The main economic activities and nodal development centres identified are the following:
Integrated Development Plan 2011/2012
Focus on “economic service provision, job creation, government services and ensuring basic services”
Focus on Industrial Development and Manufacturing
Focus on “Eco-tourism & Adventure”
- Oribi Gorge
- Oribi Flats